I recently came across a proverb that reads, “The man who moved a mountain was the one who began carrying away small stones.” It reminded me that change often happens in increments, and what might feel like a small effort or contribution can have a huge impact as time passes.

The College’s legislative mandate is to regulate the profession of nursing. As a regulator, we are charged with protecting the public. In fulfilling that mandate, we think how we do our work really defines our culture, and in turn supports the role we play within the health care system.

We are working hard to shift our culture to a more relational style. This leads to collaborative relationships, conversations with nurses and communicating in plain and accessible words. It means using the right amount of regulatory force and using it only when needed. And ultimately, it calls us to be a proactive advocate for safety, to anticipate changes before they occur, to foresee risks and to take timely action when needed.

And while this shift is occurring on many levels, I find it’s often the informal, one-on-one personal contact the College has with nurses and members of the public that is really helping change how we are understood by those we serve. Our Board is currently working on a new strategic plan that will guide us through the coming years. Throughout this planning process — which has involved numerous stakeholders, nurses, staff and others — it’s become clear to me that the College’s culture contributes significantly to meeting our objectives. Our commitment to being a relational regulator — in our relationships with nurses, the public, and within our organization — is key to our success.

The Board will introduce a final draft of the new strategic plan this summer. I hope this plan will help nurses and the public gain a better understanding of how our shift towards relational regulation is enhancing the College’s ability to meet its mandate and maintain the public trust in a meaningful way. I am excited about our work and all the possibilities on the horizon.