Together We Will Make 2018 a Year to Remember, by Tania Dick, RN, MN

I am always so thankful for the winter season.  This is a sacred time, full of tradition and protocol for my family and community. I have always enjoyed witnessing and participating in other traditions and protocols throughout the winter season, learning from and inspiring one another.   Although this is traditionally a time for family, holidays, and self – as nurses we often have to spend a lot of time away from our families during the season. So first of all, a big shout out to all health care staff, especially nurses, who will be away from their loved ones during the holiday season. I personally will have my family close by, but will be spending my holiday time at the bedside working, caring for and healing community members and their families. At the same time, I consider this a ‘down time’ and am planning and looking forward to the new year approaching and the busy days ahead.

As I write this, I am reflecting on how far the profession and association have come since we began the ARNBC journey in 2010, and how exciting the road ahead appears as we take additional steps to advance the profession in British Columbia. For the first time in many years, B.C. nurses are leading change that will resonate throughout Canada and give us opportunity to share our pride in the knowledge, talent and skills of the nurses who have had such a significant impact on building our province. We have laid a strong foundation through which future generations of nurses can look back and be proud of our struggles, our successes and how we managed both. I look forward to the challenges and the victories ahead with great excitement for what the profession can continue to become as we move ahead in the spirit of equity, collaboration and unity.

It is time for B.C. nurses to really consider what it means to be one nursing family, and how we might lift up every single nurse in the province, of every single designation, in a way that is meaningful and empowering. It is because of where we are in our history as a province and a profession that ARNBC has begun working towards building one strong nursing association for the province, in partnership with our colleagues who are LPNs and RPNs. I take great pride in watching all nursing designations in B.C. initiate the Truth and Reconciliation Recommendations and ensure that there is going to always be space and voice for the Indigenous nurse at all times.

I was truly honoured and inspired to represent the B.C. nursing family in Ottawa in November at my first Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) Board Meeting. This was a powerful moment that had all provinces and territories sitting in one room. I was both proud and moved to have Ontario and Quebec at the table. This was a pivotal meeting for us, and for the entire nursing family, as we grappled with the question of introducing new bylaws this spring that will allow CNA to embrace our licensed practical nurse and registered psychiatric nurse colleagues at the national level. I was proud that B.C. was helping to lead the campaign towards a more inclusive national body, and inspired at the words and thoughts of our colleagues from across the country, who voted unanimously that ‘now is the time’. Most Canadian provinces are watching B.C. closely – all of us are considering how to be more inclusive of the entire nursing family, but B.C. is on the forefront of this movement, and we are committed to moving forward in the best way possible.

Consultations on what this new organization will look like are taking place now. I hope to hear from as many of you as possible throughout this process, because it is your ideas and expertise that will result in the best possible path forward. Since 2013 we have been a proud and active member of the BC Coalition of Nursing Associations (BCCNA) and that group has already done so much to ensure that any proposed association will meet the needs of the whole of nursing while continuing to support the unique needs of individual nursing designations. While some of the conversations have been challenging, we believe we are now at a place to introduce a proposed governance structure that will respect and embrace the diversity and strengths of the nursing profession and the individual nursing designations, while honouring the principles of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and ensuring the patient voice remains at the centre of all we do.

Change is exciting but it can also be uncomfortable. I encourage all of you to reflect on what the future holds for us and to bring forward your thoughts and feedback at the consultations which are starting now and will continue well into the New Year. I am excited to hear from nurses across the province and look forward to working with the nurse regulators, the unions and other stakeholders, to see how we can collaborate to advance the profession and our relationship with patients.

I am extremely proud of the work that we are doing as an Association and as a member of the BCCNA. I urge every single nurse in the province to get involved. Be part of the conversation. You have the opportunity to help build a future for nursing that is unlike anything we have seen before in this province. I can’t wait to work with you as we embark on this incredible journey together. There is nothing more important to me than an empowered nurse with voice.

I send the warmest greeting to all nurses and nurse practitioners during this holiday season.



Tania Dick hails from the Dzawada’enuxw First Nations of Kingcome Inlet and has been a Registered Nurse in British Columbia for 12 years. Her entire career has been spent in rural and remote nursing, specializing in Emergency and Aboriginal health. She attained her Master of Nursing degree in the Nurse Practitioner program at UBC in 2010. She currently works full time as a general duty nurse in her Father’s rural village of Alert Bay, BC.  Tania became president of ARNBC in June 2017 and has been on the ARNBC Board since 2012.


7 thoughts on “Together We Will Make 2018 a Year to Remember, by Tania Dick, RN, MN

  1. Tanya Caldwell

    Hi Tania, Your statement for 2018 is enthusiastic, but filled with ambiguous and generalized wishes for the health care environment. I have been an ICU RN for over 20 years and do not see a strong practical political voice for nurses. What I do see is CRNBC, ARNBC, CNA and BCNU utilizing the nursing population as a financial generating unit and do not return the progress of improvement in the nursing condition. There is a lot of talk, meetings, rewards, luncheons and increased salaries for those in decision making positions not even close to knowing the dire issues that bedside nurses are facing. I have not seen actual improvements when it comes to the actual application of health care delivery. I think the model we need to use is the NNOC in the states. Here in BC there exists a culture of self reward before a collective view in how to improve the quality of health care. We have CEO’s in excessive numbers that make over 450 thousand a year and yet the pseudo model of socialized health care is where all these organizations embrace. Less ambiguous statements of what we hope we can do as a group and adopt a more direct and powerful organization that can make a change that moves us into the 21st century. The ARNBC has done nothing for me, its goal and direction is not a professional direct body that can make change. I was not contacted by them or asked if I wanted to pay for them as an organization. I don’t need a reward or talk about a “light” issue. Further more CRNBC should be financed by the health care provinces, I’m sure their costs would by more controlled with less waste by those organizations Change in the direct delivery in health care is needed so badly in BC, that is what is at the heart of RN’s our oath to protect our patients. Thanks

    1. Sherri Kensall

      Hi Tanya,
      Thanks for sharing your comments, I’m sure your questions about how a nursing association can best serve its members are shared by many. As I understand, the NNOC (National Nurses Organizing Committee) plays both a regulatory and union role in the US. In BC, we have 3 main nursing entities: the college plays a regulatory role to ensure nurses are competent to practice, the union’s primary role is to ensure optimal working conditions for nurses and the association provides a political voice for nurses on issues affecting health.

      I agree with you, we do need a strong practical political voice for nursing and patient care. As a nurse working in direct care and as a clinical nurse specialist, I have seen many changes in recent years. In both acute care and community based nursing we are seeing a significant increase in the complexity of patient care. In our hospitals, we are able to keep patients alive with new technologies and approaches that weren’t available before. We’re even transitioning these patients home requiring extra support and expertise in the community.

      Nursing care is evolving as are nursing roles. We now see LPNs practicing autonomously and taking on much more, such as IV medications and complex wound care. RPNs are working with patients with far more complex mental health challenges often in non-traditional environments. RNs are able to initiate certain medications and diagnostics within specific areas and protocols and NPs are taking on full primary care and specialty NP roles.

      I think the development of one professional association that addresses the issues of concern to all nurses has the capacity for more direct and powerful action. Previously, each of the separate nursing designations needed to lobby on their own for issues related to health care. If the government wanted nursing input, not knowing which designation meant they often didn’t bother. Now there will be a single association they can go for nursing input. I believe one nursing association is the opportunity for all nurses to work together…not just to improve the nursing condition, but to improve health care for our patients that we all care for.
      Sherri Kensall, RN

    2. Michelle

      I disagree. I have been a mental health nurse in BC for 10 years. I was educated in Alberta, and practiced in Calgary from 2013-2015. I can clearly see the political voice that nurses in BC have. I think that it’s great that there is a separation between the union, the association and the college of nurses because there is clear separation between each organization: one that works on behalf of workplace rights, advancing the profession of nursing and one that protects the public by ensuring that there is a standard of practice that we must adhere to. There are challenges that exist within the health care regions, but the health care regions are comprised of many different regulated and unregulated health care staff, those that work in direct care and those that do not. There is a bigger picture that we are a part of as nurses in BC and nurses in Canada. I look forward to the future of ARNBC and future of the profession of nursing in BC, as well as the profession of nursing in Canada.

  2. Mike Villeneuve

    Thank you, Tania, for your personal leadership and enthusiasm, and thanks for the leadership of all your BC nursing colleagues across the categories. Be assured that we at CNA are thrilled to be working with you all as we wade together through this complex, important, transformative year in the history of Canadian nursing! #strongertogether

  3. Melody Little

    Tania Dick,
    Your vision is amazing. I am a Registered Psychiatric Nurse living in Ontario and unable to be registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario (there are others as well). I have always worked with RN’s, LPN’s and RPN’s together, collaboratively for best practice of care. However, in coming to Ontario their has been nothing but barriers to registering in this province and feeling isolated and discriminated against by CNO. Internationally educated nurses get independent resources to review their credentials for registration. However, Canadian Registered Psychiatric Nurses do not this leaving us out in the cold for registering in the province we want to practice and are not eligible for the same unbiased review.
    I have been watching BC closely as I am originally from there. I am excited and hopeful this vision will resonate across Canada and break down barriers for our nurses. I am proud to be a nurse and work with all designations. I miss working along side nurses and hope future discussions perpels this important topic across Canada, and breaks down the barriers for all nurses. A nurse, is a nurse, is a nurse.

  4. Catrin brodie RN, MN, (GNC)

    Hi Tania, I am the president of the gerontological nursing association of b.c. We are having our provincial conference in Nananimo this year from April 12 until the 14th. Would love to chat to you about it in more detail. Also, I have heard from one of my colleagues that you live on the island and perhaps would consider being a guest speaker. Our theme is what really matters: the seniors perspective. Our thoughts were you could perhaps share what would be important from a cultural perspective?


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