History in the making

January / February 2018   Comments

One of the many remarkable aspects of being president of CNA is that history is happening around me. The thoughtful discussions and bold decisions at the most recent board meeting were another reminder of the influence CNA has had on the direction of professional nursing in our country for more than a century.

At this historic meeting, we welcomed Aline LaFlamme, the first public representative to bring an Indigenous perspective to the board’s work. Her wisdom and experience will guide us as we integrate truth and reconciliation.

Also new to the board were representatives from Ontario (Kate Zimmerman) and Quebec (Sylvain Brousseau). For the first time since the mid-1980s, all provinces and territories were represented at the board table — along with CNA’s Network of Nursing Specialties, nursing students and the public.

Early on in the meeting, the board signalled strong support for CEO Mike Villeneuve’s vision of CNA in 2020 and the necessary transformation of its business, products and services.

Of most significance, we, the members of your board, unanimously decided to proceed with the work required to bring a recommendation to members that CNA open its membership to all regulated nurses across the country. This recommendation will be brought to a vote at the next annual meeting of members, in June.

History happens in the moment. At this moment, the CNA board must continue to be thoughtful and progressive as we make decisions that will affect the profession for years to come. My hope is that the next generation of nurses will be proud of what CNA has accomplished and that we will be able to say “we were there when…”

On issues that are relevant to nurses and Canadians, CNA is a respected and sought-out voice. We have provided leadership on medical assistance in dying, influenced the implementation of legalization of cannabis, made substantial gains in the removal of federal barriers to NP practice and revised the Code of Ethics to reflect contemporary practice needs. Achieving a strong, healthy nation and a robust, productive nursing profession is central to all we do.

Barb Shellian, RN, BN, MN

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