A community celebration: You don’t have to be a nurse to celebrate nursing week

I have to admit, I am an odd duck. A fish out of water. An outlier. As the first and currently only non-nurse registrar in Canada, I feel the weight of responsibility in ensuring that I understand and appreciate the profession in its entirety. I also recognize that my non-nurse status affords me the ability to see things through a different lens and offer a unique perspective to nursing regulation. Don’t get me wrong, I could never succeed without the highly knowledgeable nursing staff who help lead this organization each and every day. I often get asked about why I decided to get involved in regulating nurses, especially when I am not one. My answer is always the same–as a citizen of Canada and of B.C., I value the contribution nurses make to our health care system and our status as one of the healthiest countries in […]

Lost in the shadows: How a lack of help meant a loss of hope for one First Nations girl

In early February, the Representative for Children and Youth released her report, “Lost in the shadows: How a lack of help meant a loss of hope for one First Nations girl”. The report detailed the suicide of a young aboriginal girl and the failings of the system to intervene effectively in her care. The report recommends that within 30 days of its release, that the College of Registered Nurses of BC inform our registrants of the findings of the investigation with respect to reporting a child in need of protection and remind nurses of their statutory responsibility to report pursuance to section 14 of the Child, Family and Community Service Act. CRNBC already works with nurses to ensure that they understand that they have a legal and ethical duty to report suspected child abuse and neglect to the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Our Professional Standard […]
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    Understanding and improving the internationally educated nurse experience

Understanding and improving the internationally educated nurse experience

In August of this year, the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) will launch a portal that will enable Internationally Educated Nurses (IENS) to initiate their application for registration in Canada using a single integrated service. This is just the beginning of a more collaborative and streamlined effort among nurse regulators to create a more efficient and responsive registration process for IENs. I believe this lays the foundation for further improvements to the IEN experience. BC has one of the highest per-capita numbers of IENs registered in Canada. As a result BC nurses represent a wide range of backgrounds and expertise from around the globe. While each IEN’s experience in coming to Canada is unique, there are common challenges and opportunities for those seeking registration as a nurse. At the end of January, I attended a roundtable discussion hosted by Health Canada to discuss some of these common issues […]

Looking ahead to an exciting 2014

Over the past 12 years, I have been diligent in making New Year’s resolutions. They tend to be similar from year to year: eat healthier, manage my spending or even run a marathon. I don’t always meet the goals I set, but I know that my efforts have a positive impact in breaking bad habits and making healthier choices. At CRNBC, our New Year’s resolutions are built into our new strategic plan: improving nurses’ experience with us, being a relational regulator and ensuring that public interest is put first. Through the work of our Board and staff, I know we will meet these goals. Already I can see our efforts paying off and I am excited about what we will likely achieve in 2014. For example, nurses renewing their registration this year will notice that our fees have stayed the same for a fourth year in a row.  In […]

You can’t stop an idea whose time has come

It has been said, you can’t stop an idea whose time has come.  If so, the time has come for regulators of health professionals to take a hard look at ways to harmonize standards across our healthcare system.    Admittedly, the current complexity and multiplicity of regulation can sometimes confound and confuse health professionals. Globally, there is growing agreement that regulators have to do more to streamline guidelines, standards, requirements and policies.  This was the central idea in a recent paper I read by Harry Cayton and Douglas Bilton (from the Professional Standards Authority in the UK):  Asymmetry of influence: the role of regulators in patient safety. The authors make the point that on a daily basis health professionals are continuously making simple as well as complex decisions about patient safety.  Within such an environment, we need consistent approaches to regulation that, wherever possible, find commonality among the multitude of […]