Working together

September 2016   Comments

I have been privileged to attend a number of CNA annual meetings of members and biennial conventions throughout the last 45 years (not that I am counting). These events are a great opportunity to connect with nursing colleagues from across the country and learn about new initiatives and the trends that will shape our future locally, nationally and internationally.

Each annual meeting/biennial convention has its own personality. To me, this year’s event was one of discussion led by nurses from national and provincial/territorial organizations on topics of importance to our profession. In attendance were representatives of CNA’s provincial and territorial associations and colleges, the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, the Canadian Nursing Students’ Association, the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association, the Canadian Association of Advanced Practice Nurses and CNA’s specialty network members, along with several provincial nursing officers. The result?

  • Thoughtful debates on wide-ranging resolutions brought before the annual meeting
  • Sold-out registration for the Dorothy Wylie Health Leaders Institute pre-convention program
  • Top-notch presentations on innovative examples of partnership and of working with all nursing providers, such as the successful formation of the British Columbia Coalition of Nursing Associations
  • Insights into exciting developments in Indigenous nursing and health care and into what is important to millennial nurses as they begin their careers

On some topics, we had significant agreement on the best path forward; on others, clearly there were divergent opinions. Our challenges in nursing are great, but our opportunities are greater. By having honest and open discussion and by listening to all voices, we will find solutions. In the months ahead, CNA will continue to work with our members on more clearly articulating the contributions that RNs and NPs make to the health-care system and on how we can work in full partnership and collaboration with our licensed/registered practical nursing and registered psychiatric nursing partners in care.

Finally, I must say once again to our New Brunswick hosts: what is it with your province? With such a relatively small population, you have provided a disproportionate number of nurses who have led national and international nursing organizations. We were most pleased to recognize Lucille Auffrey, Rachel Bard, Judith Oulton and Linda Silas.

Thank you to all who attended the annual meeting of members and biennial convention for your thoughtful input.

Anne Sutherland Boal, RN, BA, MHSA

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