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Statement by CNA president Barb Shellian on BCNU action

Ottawa, February 9, 2018 — CNA president Barb Shellian issued the following statement on action taken by the British Columbia Nurses’ Union (BCNU) against our B.C. jurisdictional member, the Association of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (ARNBC).

“ARNBC has been informed of action by BCNU that the association believes could put its survival in jeopardy. ARNBC is the professional voice of registered nurses in B.C. and is the largest jurisdictional member of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA).

“Over the past couple of years, ARNBC has undertaken a bold and courageous move to establish a new professional association that will include nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and registered psychiatric nurses. This pioneering work is a blueprint for the kind of intra-professional collaboration that characterizes the best of nursing and will help inform similar efforts that are sure to follow across Canada.

“CNA is the global professional voice of Canadian nursing. We strongly support the value of nursing’s three support pillars — regulatory (to protect the public), unions (to support nurses and strengthen working conditions) and professional (to advance the profession and improve care and population health). Canadians and their governments have high expectations of professional nursing to support health system transformation, and they expect strong intra-professional relationships from their nurses. That sort of collaboration led to the common structures — for example, curricula, entry-to-practice education and common examinations — that have vaulted nurses to the top of the list of professions most trusted by the public and kept us there. This did not happen by accident or luck, but by deliberate and sincere collaboration and negotiation over the past century.

“A threat to professional nursing in B.C. is a threat to professional nursing across Canada. The nurses of B.C., in all their roles, bring tremendous strengths to Canadian nursing and we value their affiliation with CNA — and in turn with the International Council of Nurses. We are on the cusp of a landmark change in B.C. to establish a common college and a common professional association for all regulated nurses. This change puts B.C. in the driver’s seat as the model for intra-professional nursing collaboration in Canada.

“ARNBC is a great collaborative partner that brings significant contributions to CNA and Canadian nursing. We encourage all nurses across Canada to show support for their colleagues in B.C.”  #ARNBCMythbusters #strongertogether

The Canadian Nurses Association is the national professional voice 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 more information, please contact:

Kevin Ménard
Lead, Communications
Canadian Nurses Association
Cell: 613-266-8230
E-mail: kmenard@cna-aiic.ca