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Canadian Nurses Association shines spotlight on health employers

Ottawa, May 9, 2013 — The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) today announced the winner of the 2013 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.

“Evidence, best practices and continuous learning are cornerstones of the registered nurse profession,” said CNA president Barb Mildon, who holds CNA certification in community health nursing. “By integrating CNA’s certification program into their workplace, employers are supporting excellence in nursing and committing to delivering the best in patient care.”

CNA offers voluntary certification in 20 specialties/areas of nursing practice, including community health, emergency, oncology, gerontology, medical-surgical, perinatal, and psychiatric and mental health nursing. Today, more than 17,200 RNs have earned this nationally recognized credential.

This year’s top award winner is the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto. Impressively, it is working toward having 100 per cent of its RN staff obtain CNA specialty certification in oncology. To bolster its efforts, the Princess Margaret provides financial support to RNs who obtain certification and recertification. It offers study assistance and other education initiatives to RNs pursuing certification and recognition to hospital units when 100 per cent of their RN team become certified.

“It’s important to recognize standout employers for going above and beyond, since it sets an example for others to follow,” said Canadian Healthcare Association interim president and CEO Phil Dresch. “Any one of the nominations would make excellent examples, because they’re proving that there are concrete actions we can take to support our valuable health human resources and, in turn, strengthen the care Canadians receive.

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 the CNA Certification Program demonstrates commitment to patient safety and to creating a work environment that promotes continuing competence and excellence in patient care.

In addition to the Princess Margaret, the CNA Certification Program is recognizing St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and the Programme-clientèle d’oncologie, Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont in Montreal with honourable mentions.

St. Michael’s has integrated CNA certification into its larger strategic direction, recognizing nursing certification as a professional credential within a culture of nursing excellence, while providing financial and educational support to RN staff seeking certification.

Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont’s client oncology program now has more than 18 certified RNs, with several more awaiting results from the April 2013 exam. The hospital embodies a continued commitment to pursuing and supporting excellence in oncology nursing, offering financial and preparatory support to its RN staff.

CNA certification is obtained by successfully completing a rigorous study and exam process to ensure an RN’s specialized knowledge and skills are current and comprehensive. CNA-certified nurses receive a trademarked certification distinction, which helps ensure career advancement opportunities, higher earning potential and even university credit toward a nursing degree. CNA certification exams are developed by CNA-certified RNs across Canada.

The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada. A federation of 11 provincial and territorial nursing associations and colleges representing nearly 150,000 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 or interview requests, please contact:

Kate Headley, External Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Telephone: 613-237-2159, ext. 561
Cell: 613-697-7507
E-mail: kheadley@cna-aiic.ca