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Take Part in ARNBC’s Province-Wide Consultations, by Barb Reece RN

Beginning the week of February 19th, 2012, ARNBC will set out to consult with as many nurses as possible across the province.  This is your opportunity to join a face-to-face meeting in your area, participate in a videoconference, or send your ideas and thoughts to our dedicated consultations website.  Now is the time for RNs across B.C. to come together and share your ideas of what you’d like the ARNBC to do and be.  How can we help you?  Your voice is our strength! 

By ARNBC Consultations' Facilitator Barb Reece, RN

My name is Barb (Findlay) Reece, and I’m writing to welcome you to the ARNBC consultation process and tell you a bit about myself. I hope to meet many of you face to face and over the next few months, or hear your voices through email, blog entries and ‘tweets’ if we don’t manage to connect in person. Working as a member of the Monkeytree Creative consulting team who is supporting the Association with this initiative, my main role is to facilitate respectful and productive conversations with groups of you across the province, during consultation sessions scheduled for the communities where you live and work.

A registered nurse for 30+ years, I have worn several hats in the course of my career – clinician, educator, administrator, and researcher. I have worked mostly in B.C. and for shorter periods in Alberta and Virginia. My jobs have included working as an ER staff nurse, as an educator in a community hospital, and as executive director for a non-profit organization committed to developing a model for integrative health care delivery, as a nurse-leader for a provincial telenursing service, and as director of a research program on creating ‘optimal healing environments’.  Multidisciplinary teamwork, interprofessional relationships, and ‘integrative health care’ have been strong threads through much of my career, and recurrent themes through my speaking, teaching and publications.

I have worked both ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ of our health care system and have learned to value diversity through some wonderful real-world experiences (and through the notorious ‘school of hard knocks’!) I recognize that despite sharing certain common ground, health professionals can hold a vast range of perspectives on a single issue. As a seasoned change agent, I am drawn to lead initiatives designed to improve the patient experience, and believe that innovation is often born out of hardship. I am hopeful that our society has already begun the difficult transformation from a disease-based orientation to care and services, towards a prevention-based, whole person approach to health and healing, and that nursing, as a profession, is getting ready to lead the way.

Looking forward to hearing from you!


Barb Findlay Reece has worn several hats in the course of her healthcare career – registered nurse, educator, administrator and researcher/writer. From 2005 through 2007, she was a vice president at the Samueli Institute in Alexandria, Virginia, providing leadership for a research program on ‘optimal healing environments’. She held a senior leadership position with the BC NurseLine (now HealthLink BC), a BC Ministry of Health telenursing initiative and served as executive director at the Tzu Chi Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Barb’s background also includes 20+ years as a staff nurse in a variety of settings, including inner-city emergency rooms, and as an educator for patients and health professionals in a community hospital setting. She has been an adjunct professor in the School of Nursing at the University of BC, is a frequent presenter on the issues surrounding integrative health care in Canada, and has co-authored a number of reports and peer-reviewed articles on this topic.


NOTE:  We thank everyone for your interest and comments on this blog.  Keep them coming and remember to check out the Consultations webpage at http://www.arnbc.ca/consultations/.  The FAQs and other documents may help to answer some of these important questions.

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Jacqueline Arlene Nault

I have many concerns regarding the development of yet another RN body. Were will the money come from to finance this body? Are we going to be expected to belong to another organization? What will the ARNBC do for me that is not already been done by other groups such as BCNU. Who will sit on the board for the ARNBC From what I understand it is not the grass roots nurse or the front line nurses but rather nurses in academia positions. Why was a vote not taken by the membership to determine if this was needed at all. At this point I personally feel that there are other groups that advocate for nurses and public health care. I see CRNBC as our licensing body which under the hosp administration act can not advocate for us but that we are been looked after. The development of the ARNBC is not needed at this point and I do not wish to be instructed that I have to belong and pay another set of dues
Thanks for listening
Jacqueline Nault RN

Sue, RN in the North

I fully agree that we need to be aware of how much we spend in fees. That said, I don't feel that we have a professional advocacy group in this province. The Union doesn't always speak for me and the CRNBC can't advocate. While I don't want to pay a huge amount in fees, I am interested in hearing what ARNBC has to say and how they intend to fulfill the professional advocacy role. I think these consultations are a great start and personally I'm interested in attending.

Trish, RN

I am also very concerned about another set of fees and the lack of awareness most nurses have about ARNBC. I would like more information regarding what this body will do for BC nurses. I have received minimal information and do not understand the need to have CRNBC and ARNBC. I think it is important to educate the nurses you choose to represent on what each separate body will provide for our profession. My concern regarding another fee to practice in BC far outweighs any other issue. I think this needs to be addressed before anything else. Personally, it does not matter to me how much more professional advocacy this new body may provide if it means I have to pay more to practice. This will simply mean I will leave BC and practice elsewhere.

Tracy RN

I work at an acute care facility and pay dues already to BCNU and CRNBC which is enough dues to pay. I do not want to have to pay any more dues.
BCNU represents my professional concerns very well and advocates for safe patient care and safe nursing.BCNU is a strong advocate for our health care system as well and CRNBC is there to be sure the public is protected.

Ilona, RN

Respectfully I disagree. The BCNU doesn't represent me and no one has asked me to pay anything for ARNBC, so I'm not sure why you are fussing about this. How can you be complaining about having to pay more dues when no one has asked you to pay more dues? That makes no sense. As for awareness, the ARNBC has only been around a short while, and I think raising awareness is part of why they're doing consultations.


Agree with Ilona. Has anyone at arnbc said what they plan to charge? Does anyone know for sure what they plan to do? As I read the blog post I got the impression that they were talking to people to figure stuff out.

Jakob & Susan

I really like the webpage you've put up for the consultation sessions. The map is great! I'm looking forward to having you come to the Interior and I will plan to attend one of the sessions. It's very interesting to read about the previous sessions. I also like that the blog gives me opportunity to read what people are thinking and I hadn't thought about fees and what would be paid for this. How is it fundde now?

I am part of BCNU, and I think the Union has been really good at advocating for nurses, even better than the RNABC used to be. I like that I can see what the Union is doing and that their campaigns are posted on the website. But I understand why it could be helpful to have an association too. Good work. I will be watching.

Krista Savarella

I am intrigued by the other blog responses and as a front line nurse, myself and my colleagues need to know more about ARNBC as an organization and what the benefits of it will be for me personally, professionally and to my clients and health care as a whole.

I am a board member for ARNBC but am writing this is a front line Registered Nurse. I chose to get involved with ARNBC back when it was the RN network; back when it was a foreign idea in everyone’s mind. I got involved because I love nursing, am passionate about nursing and wanted to be involved in influencing change.

Our health care system is in great need of repair. Every day, we as Registered Nurse hear about hallway nursing, about cuts to health prevention and health promotion programs, about decreased access to care for our seniors and those who experience mental health issues. These are all symptoms of a much larger problem. It is the larger picture that I see is the role of ARNBC which is to work with Government and policy makers on these system changes.

Dishing out more money is not going to solve health care’s problems, although more is needed, it is not the answer to everything. In the past, nurses have been very influential in policy and program development in the broadest sense of the terms. With changes to the Health Professions Act and the transfer from RNABC to CRNBC, this voice has been silenced and it is time we, as a collective group, get it back.

I would encourage all nurses to get involved, to keep asking questions, and to get involved in the current ARNBC consultations at http://www.arnbc.ca/consultations/index.php


Hi there

I was on your website last week and I'm sure there were summaries of the first meetings posted, but now I can't find them. I was hoping to share some of the points made with my colleagues.

I believe there's good reason to have three organizations in BC. Have you read Nurse Nerdy's blog about this? She says a lot of things that many of us are feeling. http://nursenerdylori.blogspot.com/2012/02/political-posturing.html?spref=tw

Please continue to tell us how these meetings go. It's so good to actually hear what nurses are thinking. It feels like a long time since we've had any kind of connection with each other. Hearing what other nurses have to say reminds me that I'm not alone.


Well said Melanie! I'm interested in reading summaries too. I'm not sure I can come to any of the meetings and I'd really like to hear what others are saying. I agree, hearing what nurses are really thinking would be a good way to stay connected.

Paddy Rodney

Thanks to all for the thoughtful and honest comments! I really enjoyed the session I participated in last Friday at St. Paul's Hospital--great energy and thoughtful dialogue. It certainly affirmed for me the importance of having our nursing voices heard as a collective on behalf of our profession and the public we serve....

We will make sure that the consultation session summaries all get up as soon as possible. Barb and the rest of the terrific communications team in charge of the consultations have been doing a great job 🙂

Paddy, ARNBC Board Member

Julie RN

For years we paid fees to the RNABC to perform the functions of a college and act as our professional association.
The RNABC acrued assets with the fees we paid them for our mandatory memberships.
All of the assets of the RNABC were turend over to the CRNBC.
The CRNBC, rightfully so according to legislation, is no longer representing our professional interests.
They are acting soley as a guardian of the public's right to safe care.
Despite cutting their workload in half, not only have the not reduced our fees, they have in fact increased them.
As they are no longer representing our professional interests, I suggest that it is fair and reasonable for the CRNBC to turn half of their assets over to the ARNBC.
Let us not delude ourself that BCNU is representing our professional interests. It is not their mandate , nor their expertise.

Frustrated Nurse

I was at one of your sessions and came on the website today expecting to find notes or minutes of my session and an opportunity to read what nurses said in from other sessions. It looks like the website has space for information each session, and quotes, but nothing appears to be new.

I thought you were going to give nurses a chance to share ideas and thoughts, and that you would post them publicly so we could bond and share over good and bad experiences. Instead it seems ARNBC is going to be just like the College and keep everything a secret.

I'm really disappointed. I thought what I had to say was important, but apparently ARNBC doesn't agree.


I agree with Frustrated Nurse! I had hoped to see some informaiton from the sessions. Is transparency only a theory?

Paddy Rodney

Thanks for your passion about seeing the consultation comments! The consultation team is working flat out to reach people and we are behind on our summaries--our apologies. We are making it a priority to get them up as quickly as we can--you will note that the summary from Providence on March 2nd is now posted. We fully agree with your point that the consultation process and substance need to be transparent.

Paddy Rodney, ARNBC Board Member


Thanks to the nurses that came out to the sessions at Peace Arch and Royal Columbian Hospitals. It was great to hear the dialouge and your passion for the nursing profession.

Wendy Bowles

Just wanted to say that I went to one of these sessions and found it very informative. I appreciated the information but even more I appreciated all the questions that we asked of those attending. The ARNBC provided a truly interactive session and gathered as much information as they gave. I was a bit disappointed in the turn out at the session I went to but this is very important stuff. I hope this initiative continues to grow, dont give up!!

Also to clarify on some issues: the crnbc feel they cannot afford to give back funds to the ARNBC AND more interesting, something everyone needs to consider is our insurance. I know this stuff gets very confusing but it is really important to understand. Across most of the country nurses get covered with insurance provided by a separate provider and through their associations, here in BC our insurance is provided by and through the crnbc, whose mandate is to protect the public…..conflict of interest?? Despite the crnbc being in agreement that there IS a conflict here, again they feel they cannot afford to give this up. This is documented on their web site and in previous communications. Read the site, read what they send and get involved with this association.

See also my blog post called “We the nurses” on this web site.

Nora Whyte

Thank you, Wendy, for your feedback and for the thoughtful blog article that you have written (posted on March 30th).
The sessions are gaining momentum--our team is reporting a good response, lively discussion and increased attendance during the past week.

We encourage nurses around the province to come out to sessions in your communities and to use the great resources that our team has created to host your own informal sessions. Please visit our Consultations Page (http://www.arnbc.ca/consultations/index.php) for frequent updates and click on Get Involved to view the resources.

Indeed, ARNBC is growing thanks to the interest and fantastic input from colleagues throughout British Columbia!

Walter Lumamba

CRNBC Fee is already too high for us new nurses here in BC, as well us the 2% annually for BCNU. I know ARNBC is not asking for a fee "yet". But how can an organization sustain without the funds needed? I have read that CRNBC gave $150K to ARNBC: Here it is..

Thank you for your email.

CRNBC provided a one-time grant in the 2010/11 fiscal year to CRNBC of up to $153,000 to the RN Network of BC to incorporate as an association and to build a business case to inform this need.

It will be up to the nurses of B.C., not the College, to decide if representation by another nursing body is needed.
Warm regards
Laurel Brunke, RN, MSN
Registrar/Chief Executive Officer
College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia
2855 Arbutus Street
Vancouver, BC V6J 3Y8

I am hoping that in the future, CRNBC will continue to support ARNBC, I dont mind paying CRNBC with the same fee as long as the ARNBC funds comes from them not from our pockets. If this happens, BC will be the highest fee collecting province in regards to our profession. I do understand the need to create the ARNBC, but I totally disagree if they will start collecting fees. (yes, they did not ask for it "yet")

Thanks for hearing our voice..


Christine Sorensen

I am not in support of the establishment of third governing body for nurses in BC. Where will the money come from to support this organization? I am against a 3rd set of dues for RN's as we already pay more than enough to hold a license in this province. I am not at all pleased that CRNBC and CNA provided a grant to ARNBC to establish this group. Those are my dues and when were we consulted about these grants?
I feel that the nurses are well represented by BCNU and CRNBC. ARNBC is primarily comprised of nurses who work in academia who do not feel represented by these two groups. They have other avenues of representation as professionals through their colleges and universities. Why should RN's across BC be forced to subsidize their agenda of becoming the professional voice of nurses? I know BCNU's mandate is much greater than collective bargaining. They are well positioned to advocate for nurses, public health care and social justice issues. As my professional body, CRNBC is there to protect the public. What more do we need?


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