Coat of Arms
The armorial bearings consist of a coat of arms, a badge and a flag.
The coat of arms and flag
Arms: Above a lamp, the most widely recognized symbol of nursing since Florence Nightingale’s service in the Crimea, three triangles symbolize the founding communities of First Nations/Inuit, francophones and anglophones. Gold represents the generosity and long duration of the profession; red represents fortitude, strength, magnanimity and life.
Crest: The lion emphasizes CNA’s role as a defender of the profession and of the principles of the Canada Health Act. The scroll represents the Act itself and, more broadly, the association’s advocacy role.
Motto: The Latin motto, “Knowledge, wisdom, humanity,” reflects the enduring values and virtues of CNA and its members.
Supports: The white harts, whose grace and swiftness exemplify the nurse’s work, are also a pun, alluding to the emblematic white heart of the International Council of Nurses. Positioned on either side of the shield, the harts reflect the support of nurses for CNA. Their black antlers are a reference to the bands on nurses’ caps. The diamonds on their collars symbolize the five domains of nursing, while the wavy band suggests the sashes worn by First Nations people. The medallion, new to Canadian heraldry, refers to incorporated bodies whose Patron is Her Majesty The Queen. The compartment of maple leaves – one for each province and territory – symbolizes the communities served by nurses across Canada and represents new life, new beginnings and new knowledge for patients and nurses
The badge uses the national colours of red and white. The three flames indicate the tripartite character of nursing: the union of mind (knowledge), heart (compassion and caring) and hands (physical skill in work and touch).