The strong central hand of CNA

July / August 2017   Comments

Taking the reins as CEO has been an exciting and humbling experience. Because I held other roles at CNA from 2004 to 2012, it still feels like a homecoming. However, the driver’s seat is a very different perch, and the scope and complexity of the challenges ahead feel daunting.

I inherit the role from a friend and an iconic nurse leader, Anne Sutherland Boal. Following Anne makes my job easier; the organization is strong and important transformative steps have already been taken. In the years ahead, I will build on the foundation she has so ably put into place with the team in Ottawa. Thank you, Anne, from all of us, and we wish you and your husband, Gord, happiness in the next steps of your journey.

Over the coming months, I will use this column to share some of my thoughts and observations as I work with our president, board, staff and members to steer CNA forward. I will have my eyes and ears open as I strive to understand the needs and expectations of our members. And I will encourage all of us to keep our minds and thinking open to new ways of operating, new programs and new ways of delivering meaningful services to our members.

Nurses practise in many health-care systems, cultural situations, languages and geographies. But despite all the differences, for more than a century we have managed to find the common ground to educate, regulate and deploy one Canadian registered nurse profession, using entry-to-practice education and exams that are common in most jurisdictions and a common code of ethics. In doing so, we became a beacon of excellence on the global nursing stage. That could not have happened without the strong central hand of CNA connecting nurses from every province and territory, and helping all of us surmount the fragmenting forces of our federated model. I believe in that federated model and in a strong, future-focused CNA as an essential unifying hub of professional nursing excellence in Canada.

During the short time I will have the rare privilege of holding this role, I will marshal my best energy, surround myself with intelligent and courageous people and push all of us to continue the work of reshaping CNA. My goal is that it will remain a powerful force — supporting nurses to lead care in our constantly changing health-care systems.

Mike Villeneuve, RN, M.Sc.

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