A historic vote at today’s annual meeting of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) has expanded the national association’s membership to include all four categories of regulated nurses in Canada.
“For the first time, Canada has a national nursing association that includes all regulated nurses and represents the collective voice of the nursing profession,” says Jerry Macdonald, president of the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA). “This historic vote signals a commitment to intra-professional nursing collaboration which can more effectively respond to the evolving health system and enhance nursing care for the public.”
Nursing care is commonly provided by teams that can include registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed practical nurses and registered psychiatric nurses depending on the needs of the people being served. CNA’s decision is also a response to regulatory changes taking place in several jurisdictions. British Columbia has created one regulator for all four categories of regulated nurses and the province’s new nursing association is also inclusive of all nursing designations. Nova Scotia’s regulators for registered nurses and licensed practical nurses are also moving towards one regulatory body. CNA’s original bylaws stipulated that members could only be registered nurses or nurse practitioners.
“Canadians have high expectations of nurses regardless of our specific role,” says CARNA CEO Joy Peacock. “Nurses can be a powerful force for innovation and change within our health system when we are united. We now have a national association that can speak for the whole family of nursing.”
CARNA is the regulatory college and professional association for Alberta's more than 37,000 registered nurses including nurses in direct care, education, research and administration as well as nurse practitioners.
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