It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the 2012 Annual General Meeting of the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia.
This is the seventh AGM for the College and the 100th of its kind, if we include all of our earlier organizations, the Graduate Nurses Association of B.C., the Registered Nurses Association of B.C., and now the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia.
I would like to take a moment to pay tribute to those nurses whose thoughtful work to envision and develop nursing regulation, led it to the place that it is today.
Each of these nurses, through their vision and tenacity, has made important contributions. I would like to believe that this year’s work will be looked upon with the same esteem in the future.
I encourage you to read the information about our centennial on the College’s website. On it you will find interesting facts and stories that pay tribute to our long and colourful history. We have much to thank the nurses who – 100 years ago – gathered in a church basement in New Westminster to begin the discussion that established nursing as a self-regulated profession – all in the name of public protection.
They knew then, as we know today, that education is important, that competencies are important, that standards are important, that ethics are important, that public protection is important, and that my chosen profession, the profession of nursing, is important.
Today, we follow the footsteps of nurses before us. Forgive the reference to the obvious, but for sure, we are living in a very different world than our founding nurses.
I do believe, however, that every step we take forward is one that builds on our past and that each step will stand us in good stead for the future. Just as the major milestones of the past required bold and sometimes controversial decisions, today’s work is no less arduous.
Now, it is my privilege to present the Report from the Board and to highlight some of the things we’ve accomplished this past year relating to the Board’s four strategic goals:
In February, the Board received a report culminating the work we undertook nearly a year ago to assist in the development of our philosophy of regulation.Not only does this report touch on all of the College’s work, it also supports each of the Board’s four strategic goals.
Significantly, this report addresses our goal of having regulatory approaches that are appropriate, effective and support competent and ethical nursing practice.
More than 100 stakeholders were interviewed or participated in conversations about the philosophical underpinnings of regulation. The report reflects the outcomes of these conversations as well as a thorough, international review of best practices.
The findings from this report prompted the Board and the College to assess our current and desired states in several areas:
Throughout the regulatory philosophy discussions we learned a great deal about what others think about regulation, in general, and the College’s approach, in particular.
We found that although many see us as leaders, we can do better than we are in our current state.
We know that we can improve public and, importantly, nurses’ understanding of the role and function of the College.
We firmly believe that engagement with many more nurses, and others, is essential if we are to enhance the effectiveness of our work.
Beginning now, people will start to see change. We are changing our style and approaches to adopt a more relational approach to our work.
Although this relational approach does not change what we do, we know it will change how we do it. We know that these changes will improve our relationships and our effectiveness.
We also know that change, and the perception of change, do not come quickly. But we are committed to keeping these desired states in the forefront of all that we do for the public and for the registered nurses and nurse practitioners of British Columbia.
Regulation is a social contract. It is a partnership. To be an effective regulator requires a constructive relationship with all stakeholders.
As the regulator, CRNBC cannot deliver this social contract on its own. Our responsibility to protect the public is only as effective as our partnerships with nurses, the public, schools, employers, colleagues in other regulatory bodies, associations, unions and government.
Together, these relationships equip nurses with the tools they need to provide competent and ethical care.
The effectiveness of our relationship with each of our partners is foundational.It is foundational for nurses to be the professionals they are and to be the professionals the public wants and sees them as being.
As part of our 2011-2013 strategic planning process, the Board worked with the staff of the College to identify seven principles to guide our work and our working relationships. These principles are touchstones as we move toward our vision of a trusted and valued leader in nursing regulation. They have become a part of the living culture at CRNBC.
As an organization, we are committed to:
There are many examples of ways that we enact these principles in the work of the College.
One way we show our commitment to exceptional service is by continuing to build and perfect our online services. This form of accessibility through our website continues to receive praise from nurses, employers and others.
People use our website:
This year our principle of engagement expanded to include a two-year international memorandum of understanding to advance regulatory excellence.
On May 5, 2011, CRNBC joined seven other organizations in a formal agreement to share best practices and to inform each of our regulatory approaches.
Our partners in this agreement are:
Our focus on excellence and quality has supported our direction with the establishment of a formal organizational quality assurance program and integrated registrant quality assurance program. Organizationally, the Board wants to be sure that the work we undertake is effective, and demonstrably so. To that end, we are working with staff to identify and monitor key performance indicators that will help guide us toward our goal of excellence.
We are also committed to supporting nursing professionalism through the enhancement of our continuing competence program.
We know that we must remain accountable and responsible for the decisions and actions that we take.
This year the Board deliberated over two difficult but important items:
I am very pleased that CRNBC and CNA were able to come to agreement on how registered nurses and nurse practitioners can retain their voice in important health and social policy matters at the national level.
We assigned our jurisdictional membership in CNA to CNA with the understanding that B.C. nurses would continue to have representation on the CNA Board of Directors and through voting delegates at CNA’s annual meetings.
The College will continue to collect and transfer membership fees to CNA thus creating a seamless transition for B.C.’s nurses without loss of any CNA benefits. We are committed to do what we can as a College to ensure that nurses maintain their presence in this important national venue.
For several years CRNBC (and RNABC before), along with other Canadian regulators and nursing bodies, has expressed a strong desire for an entry-to-practice examination that would be:
After posting a request for proposals, and a careful evaluation of all submissions, it was determined that the new examination would be supplied by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
Following this announcement a considerable number of questions were posed – some from registrants, others from educators and students. A few months ago the Board, which must establish the criteria for initial registration, including the examination, approved a policy providing specific criteria for the new registered nurse entry-to-practice exam.
These criteria state that:
The Board will hold itself accountable to ensure that each and every one of these requirements will be met.
It is my sincere hope that this brief report provides you with useful information about some of the work and accomplishments of this past year.
Before closing, I would like to acknowledge Cynthia Johansen, our new Registrar and Chief Executive Officer.
Many of you may know Cynthia through her work as the College’s Director of Registration, Inquiry and Discipline. Just two months ago, Cynthia became the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the College.
Cynthia’s background is in government, legislation and regulation and she brings a fresh perspective to the College. She holds a Master of Arts in Leadership and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Information Management.
In her time at the College, Cynthia has worked to refine our bylaws, build important relationships with the government, and use technology to its every advantage. Through her work, we’ve streamlined our operations to better serve registrants and the College.
The strength of her strategic abilities, her understanding of the complexities of regulation, and her capable leadership stand the College in good stead.
Finally, I would like to close by thanking the Board and staff for all of their support during my tenure as Chair of the CRNBC Board. This AGM marks the approaching closure of my tenure as Chair and my time on the Board.
In September, the Board will appoint a new Chair who will have the privilege, as I have had, to lead this exemplary organization. I would like to take this time to sincerely thank each of the Board members for their attention, commitment and diligence over this last year.
And, I would like to extend a very special thank you to Lorraine Grant, the Board’s very capable and wise Vice-Chair who, as a public representative, will also be leaving the Board this year. Lorraine’s alert and astute skills have been extremely valuable as we steered through this past year.
I invite each and every one of you to continue to work with and support us as we enter our second century of nursing regulation in British Columbia. I promise you, it will be as exciting and rewarding as the first.