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Nurses Recognize Top Employers – News Release

Ottawa, May 11, 2011 – The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) today announced the winners of the 2011 CNA Employer Recognition Award. This prestigious prize honours employers who have shown an exceptional commitment to supporting registered nurses (RNs) pursuing and maintaining national certification in a range of nursing specialties/areas of nursing practice.

As part of an established national certification program, CNA offers voluntary certification in English and French to registered nurses. The 19 specialties/areas of nursing practice include community health, emergency, gerontology, medical-surgical, perinatal and psychiatric/mental health nursing.

“Over 16,200 nurses across Canada have earned their CNA certification, a nationally recognized credential that demonstrates that these RNs are at the cutting edge of their specialty,” said CNA president Judith Shamian. “Things are moving so fast in the world of nursing: new treatments, novel technologies and innovations in care mean that nurses have to put a serious effort and a great deal of study into staying current. It’s great to see employers firmly supporting nurses in their drive to excel.”

Many employers seek out CNA-certified nurses in their recruitment campaigns because they see the benefit in building a workforce of RNs who are officially recognized as qualified, competent and current in a specialty. Employers’ active participation in CNA’s Certification Program shows their commitment to patient safety and to creating a work environment that promotes continuing competence and excellence in patient care.

“It was truly uplifting to see the support behind nurse certification, particularly in this time of increasing standards,” said Pamela Fralick, president and CEO of the Canadian Healthcare Association, a keen supporter of the Employer Recognition Award and a participant in the award selection process. “I was impressed with the breadth of activities all nominees had undertaken to convey the importance of nurse certification and to foster their staff in following this path.”

This year’s top prize winner is Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. The facility demonstrated exceptional commitment in encouraging certification among its nurses, who then integrate their knowledge into practice and maintain a high degree of competency in the delivery of mental health nursing care. The Centre also provided outstanding educational support for participants of the CNA Certification Program by hosting an annual two-day intensive workshop by nurses specializing in different areas of mental health, thereby boosting nurses’ chances of successfully earning their credential.

Honourable mentions were awarded to:

  • Fraser Health(British Columbia), where a high proportion of participants linked their participation in the CNA Certification Program to their annual continuing competence requirements for the renewal of their RN license;
  • York Central Hospital(Ontario) created an environment in which nurses are supported and encouraged to share their wealth of knowledge with colleagues; and
  • Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (Manitoba), which supports, rewards and recognizes nurses who are experts in their specialties and provide excellent patient care and mentorship.

CNA also honours employers whose innovative tools and incentives support RNs’ pursuit of certification. This year’s Innovation Award recipients are:

  • Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre(Ontario), which strategically positioned itself for a funding opportunity in collaboration with the de Souza Institute and the Regional Cancer Program for nurses preparing for and/or renewing their CNA certification credential in oncology; and
  • Horizon Health Network, Saint John Regional Hospital (New Brunswick), which incorporated CNA certification into the professional development pathway for all newly hired RNs, enabling them to achieve certification within four years of hire.

This year, CNA celebrates 20 years of nursing credentialing excellence, 1991-2011. For more information on CNA’s Certification Program, visit: www.cna-aiic.ca.

CNA is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada. A federation of 11 provincial and territorial nursing associations and colleges representing 143,843 registered nurses, CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.


For more information, please contact:
Lisa Brazeau
Director, Communications and Member Outreach
Canadian Nurses Association
Tel: 1-800-361-8404 / 613-237-2133 ext. 252
Cell: 613-864-1371

Communications Personnel Contact Information - 2011 Employer Recognition Award