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CRNBC Board decision to withdraw from CNA

The Board believes that it is incompatible with CRNBC’s regulatory mandate and its statutory duties and objects to continue its jurisdictional membership in the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA).

Reasons for the decision

The College Board is concerned that because of CNA’s participation in such activities as lobbying government on behalf of the profession, the College's continuing relationship with CNA gives rise to a perceived, if not actual, conflict with the College's overriding duty under the Health Professions Act to serve and protect the public.

As with all health colleges under the Health Professions Act, CRNBC must function within the boundaries of legislation and is required to work within its regulatory mandate. Unlike its predecessor, the Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia, the College does not have a dual role as a professional association and a regulatory body. The College's singular mandate is regulation.

Although the College is represented at the board table as a jurisdictional member of CNA, the College's representative is unable to vote on a majority of matters that are important to registered nurses because they fall outside of the College's mandate. These matters include issues like social justice; spirituality, health and nursing practice; the role of health professionals in smoking cessation; and a position statement on physician assistants. The College cannot endorse matters that go beyond its legislated responsibilities.

The withdrawal process


Following extensive consultation, a policy and legal review, and extensive discussion, the College's Board decided to “initiate a measured and managed withdrawal” of the jurisdictional membership in the CNA. Website announcement

To initiate the process for withdrawal, as specified in CNA’s Bylaws, the CRNBC Board is required to present a resolution at the CRNBC Annual General Meeting (AGM) and to then give one-year’s formal notice of resignation to CNA.


The resolutions to initiate the withdrawal presented at the CRNBC AGM on June 25, 2010 was defeated; the balloting resulted in 40 votes against the resolution and 29 votes for the resolution. All resolutions passed at an AGM are advisory to the Board.


After careful consideration of the discussions held at the AGM, and in light of CRNBC’s regulatory mandate and the Board’s responsibility related to this governance issue, the CRNBC Board has subsequently  advised CNA that it remains committed to its withdrawal of membership. The Board hopes this goal can be achieved through a consensual process.

There are several details that must be addressed to allow for a seamless transition. The Board is committed to facilitating CRNBC's withdrawal from CNA in a way that will ensure a continued voice on health and social policy issues for British Columbia’s registered nurses.

Answering registrants' questions

We are committed to keeping registrants apprised of decisions affecting them, as they are made, and will provide relevant information, as it becomes available.

We have heard from registrants that there are particular matters of concern to them. Specifically these matters relate to:

  • Disposition of CNA membership fees, which are currently collected as a part of registration and renewal.
  • The possibility that these fees will continue to be collected by CRNBC and remitted to CNA through an emerging association (Association of Registered Nurses of B.C. [ARNBC])
  • Potential jurisdictional membership in CNA by ARNBC.
  • Voluntary or mandatory membership in ARNBC.
  • Issues relating to nursing regulation and how they will be addressed nationally.
  • Ability to purchase privately (i.e., as an individual) any of the products currently provided by CNA, if one is not a CNA member through a jurisdiction.

Responses to these and other emerging questions will be posted on the CRNBC website as they are determined over the next several months. The transition will require time, thought and consultation with CNA, the ARNBC, and others.

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