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Canadian Nurses Association’s members vote in favour of representing all nurses

Ottawa, June 18, 2018 — Since its beginnings in 1908, the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) has been the national professional voice of registered nurses, which includes nurse practitioners. At CNA’s annual meeting of members, the association’s members voted in favour of expanding CNA’s membership to include licensed practical nurses (known as registered practical nurses in Ontario) and registered psychiatric nurses.

“This membership decision will strengthen CNA as we face ongoing regulatory and legislative changes across the country,” said CNA president Barb Shellian. “And it answers the call for real collaboration within and among nursing categories. Research has constantly shown that the lack of unity and collaboration within nursing has had negative implications at the practice, organizational and system levels.”

“The longstanding fragmentation of nursing has not served the public well,” Shellian said. “With their vote today, members chose to increase CNA’s national leadership and political force for the whole family of nursing.”

CNA will review its governance to evaluate the structures that need to be put in place to reflect the unique and collective needs of the different regulated nursing groups.

“We will consult with all categories of nurses about their needs and the best ways to support each of them,” said CNA CEO Mike Villeneuve. “Careful and ongoing consultation and planning will allow us to tailor specific programs and services for each category, while marshalling the power of our unity when a strong collective voice is needed.”

CNA will continue to translate evidence and provide sound advice to governments, employers and Canadians on how to deploy the right number and mix of nurses — and in what circumstances a specific category of nurse is warranted.

“By becoming an inclusive national nursing body, the nursing profession will gain a stronger advocacy voice,” said incoming president Claire Betker. “We believe Canadians deserve the right provider delivering the right care in the right place and at the right time. By working together, we will be able to influence the delivery of better care in Canada.”


Licensed/registered practical nurses are employed in all Canadian jurisdictions. Everywhere except Ontario, these professionals are referred to as LPNs; in Ontario, they are known as RPNs.

Registered psychiatric nurses are educated and regulated solely in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Yukon.

“CNA proposes membership expansion to represent all nurses”Canadian Nurse article, January/February 2018


The Canadian Nurses Association is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing, representing over 139,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners in Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

For media inquiries, please contact:

David Granovsky
Lead, Government Relations
Canadian Nurses Association
Cell: 613-697-7497
E-mail: media@cna-aiic.ca

For membership inquiries, please contact:

Membership Services
Telephone: 1-800-361-8404, ext. 262
E-mail: members@cna-aiic.ca