The Community Health Nurses of Canada is 30 years old! 2017 marks the anniversary of when the founders of CHNC (formerly Community Health Nurses Association of Canada/CHNAC) first met in Halifax, Nova Scotia to establish a new association. Much has been accomplished over these years thanks to tireless efforts of many, many volunteer nurses.
To celebrate this occasion the Community Health Nurse of Canada (CHNC) undertook a significant project – publication of a book which is a compilation of community nursing stories. We are grateful to the community health nurses who have offered their stories for inclusion in the book. We are pleased to release this publication at the 2017 conference as a way to acknowledge the important work of community health nurses across Canada. We are confident that these stories will bring to life what working in the community is like and how nurses impact people’s lives every day.
In June 2016, we said farewell to Ann Manning as the Executive Director for CHNC for the past four years. We owe Anna debt of gratitude for her organization of the work of CHNC and establishing systems that are necessary to meet our legal obligations, and amazing support to the Board. Joyce Fox assumed the Executive Director role from Ann. In conjunction with this, a special meeting of members was convened to endorse the relocation of the office for CHNC to Ontario, and new support personnel were contracted to be more closely aligned with the new location.
The Community Health Nurses of Canada Strategic Plan 2016 - 2019 was released at the annual general meeting in May 2016. Since then, the terms of reference for all standing committees have been updated and the work plans revised to reflect the actions assigned to the various committees within the strategic plan.
Work on the CHNC website including a review of content and transition to the new platform continued throughout 2016 and was completed in 2017. The updated site provides enhanced features for communicating with members regarding membership renewal and for sending messaging to our members. There is also a Forum for members with special interests such as school nursing to contribute to an on-line dialogue around the issue. Ongoing expenses have been reduced through the new service provider. Our ability to track membership is improved as well. Our ongoing challenge is to be able to resource French translation of materials posted to the website.
The CHNC Executive Committee continued discussions regarding financial sustainability for CHNC, looking specifically at how to engage sponsors. Several tools have been developed to support the conversations and potential sponsors identified. Work will continue to further explore this avenue and begin approaching companies that are congruent with the CHNC mission and values. This is important for the future as grant funding becomes more difficult to access.
A number of topics were addressed by the Board this year including endorsements for some campaigns and educational products. Concerns continue about the N-CLEX RN exam related to the content and its relevancy to Canadian nursing practice. The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing completed a review of the exam and identified numerous gaps. Of significance to CHNC in particular is the lack of community health related content, particularly addressing determinants of health and broad health promotion strategies. The Board supported a campaign lead by the Canadian Nursing Students Association though submission of a letter of support.
One endorsement supported by the Board was the Oral-Systemic Health Education for Non-Dental Healthcare Providers developed through the University of Manitoba. This free educational opportunity is linked on the CHNC website under Publications/Resources
CHNC joined over 50 other organizations who share the goal of restricting all food and beverage marketing to Canadian children age 16 and younger by endorsing the Stop Marketing to Kids Campaign. The goal of this campaign is to restrict all food and beverage marketing to Canadian children age 16 and younger.
As well, through our partnership in the Canadian Coalition for Public Health in the 21st Century (CCPH21), we have supported a positon statement on Basic Income Guarantee. A draft position paper on Housing is also being reviewed.
In June, 2016 Morag attended the CPHA conference. As the CHNC representative. At this conference she took part in a panel presentation and discussion that included the Public Health Physicians of Canada and the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors. The session was "PHPC presents: Health Inspectors, Public Health Nurses, Doctors: A Candid Conversation about Collaboration and Adaptation”. It illustrated the need to collaborate with our public health partners to address issues such as health inequity and the social determinants of health. Board member, Lorraine Telford presented at a CPHA Leadership Series workshop h, speaking about her career in community health nursing.
The Canadian Nurses’ Association has undertaken a refresh of their Code of Ethics document this past year. Joyce Fox has represented CHNC on the Advisory Committee for this endeavour. The revised document will be presented to theCNA Board of Directors at their June 2017 meeting for approval
Membership in the CNA’s Canadian Network of Nursing Specialties provides CHNC an opportunity for input and advocacy in the Canadian Nurses Association. In November 2016 CHNC took part in the CNA’s environmental scan of the nursing specialties in the network regarding issues that are important to or emerging for RN’s. The results of the environmental scan are available on CNA’s website
. CHNC is an important stakeholder in the report "Better Home Care – An Action Plan” developed by CNA.
As President, Morag also sits on the CNA Certification Program Advisory Committee. This committee provides advice to CNA regarding their certification program and the members are from the Canadian Network of Nursing Specialties. It is a forum to discuss certification, to have a voice in the direction certification is going and to learn from others how they encourage certification among their members and in their specialty.
Morag Granger, President Joyce Fox, Executive Director