It is hard to believe February 2014 is almost behind us, specifically when I find myself still wishing those around me a happy and healthy new year. Since my last brief, I have attended the CNA Board of Directors meeting in Ottawa from November 25th through the 27th, participated in an NANB Board teleconference in November and a meeting by teleconference in December of the NANB/NBNU Joint Communication Committee.
During the CNA Board of Directors meeting: we were presented with the RN public awareness campaign that will be launched across the country this year; discussed options for voting rights of CNA members and approved two voting model options for consideration of delegates to the January special meeting of CNA; participated in CNA’s Annual Parliament Hill Lobby Day which resulted in meeting with 34 parliamentarians, senators and staff advocating that harm reduction be introduced as the 4th pillar of the national anti-drug strategy and identifying shortcomings of Bill C-2 (An Act to amend theControlled Drugs and Substance Act ), recommending its withdrawal. Additionally, we recommended the federal government establish the Aging and Seniors Care Commission of Canada (ASCCC) through a 10 year funding commitment focusing on profiling innovations supporting healthy aging, chronic disease interventions and the frail elderly. CNA also hosted an evening reception attended by 25 parliamentarians and 11 staff members from various offices, including the Minister of Health, allowing us to reinforce our advocacy efforts; both NANB’s Executive Director and myself attended the reception. We celebrated New Brunswick’s own Rachel Bard on her retirement from the CNA and an outstanding nursing career. All in all, a very productive few days advocating nursing issues at a national level.
In December, NANB’s President-elect, Brenda Kinney, Executive Director Roxanne Tarjan and myself met with Premier David Alward, Minister Flemming and senior government staff at their request to discuss healthcare priorities at this time. We highlighted the need to move forward with the implementation of the Primary Healthcare Framework and the roles RNs/NPs can, and already do play in delivering these services. We also highlighted the need to monitor nursing human resources, specifically RN and NP numbers. We shared our concern over the aging of our nursing workforce (39% of RNs in New Brunswick are 50 years of age and over, 25% (2,079) are 55 years and older). These individuals will retire over the next few years and will need to be replaced to ensure the delivery of safe quality nursing health services. We discussed the challenges our nursing programs are facing related to maintaining robust faculty and accessing clinical practice opportunities.
Continuing efforts to promote and highlight professionalism remains a priority for your Association. Since the last brief, NANB’s Practice Department delivered seven presentations titled ‘I am YOUR RN: Professionalism Makes a Difference’ to approximately 250 nurses and nursing students around the province. With an enthusiastic and energized response, and more and more requests, we will see this presentation series continue in to the spring. If you would like to hear this presentation, please go to NANB’s website and submit a request. A third e-learning module will be launched at the end of February which will address professionalism in nursing and further support RNs/NPs to continue this discussion in their workplace. Before Iconclude, let me leave you with the golden rule - ‘Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself’.With this always top of mind, professionalism will prevail.
Stay tuned for my next brief following both NANB’s February Board and CNA’s Board March meetings.