CHNBC: Finding Our Way…Including a Bigger Venue!
The Community Health Nurses of BC (CHNBC) received a welcome surprise when registrations for a CHNC-funded workshop to be held on a forecasted rainy long weekend in Vancouver in November rapidly filled up and event planners scrambled to find a larger venue and change caterers! The workshop titled "Finding Our Way: Leadership for Health Equity in Community Health Nursing in BC” was attended by over 55 community health nurses from diverse roles in all domains (practice, admin, education, research, and policy) and included a solid presence of keen BSN students. Two nurses attended by phone. An indigenous welcome was provided by Elder Roberta Price, a well respected Coast Salish leader and collaborator in BC with ties to UBC School of Nursing and the Faculty of Medicine.
The entire day was energizing, motivating and full of wonderful, positive energy. The purpose of the event was to explore the future of CHNBC, provide CHNs with a professional development opportunity and help CHNs use their leadership skills and voice to influence health equity, a top global issue. Dr. Claire Betker RN MN CCHN(C) PhD from Manitoba was the keynote speaker and represented CNA as the President-Elect. A key message of Dr. Betker’s was that "nurses are leaders all the time…refer to your nursing work as leadership…call each other’s work leadership”. Dr. Betker emphasized key learnings in her comprehensive research of leadership: leadership attributes matter; leadership is relational; leadership requires knowledge; and leadership requires supports. Public health/community health nurses "are leaders of change to systems in society that support health” (Canadian Public Health Association, 2010, p. 6).
Dr. Betker facilitated an afternoon strategic planning session using unique, lively, participative and innovative engagement methods borrowed from Liberating Structures http://nccdh.ca/resources/entry/liberating-structures
. This resulted in multiple concrete ideas to guide CHNBC in next steps and reaffirm its importance. Attendees were prompted to action by the 15% question, "what could you do differently and contribute a mere 15%?” In closing, the tremendous attendance, enthusiasm at the workshop and growing interest expressed by many to increase their involvement in CHNBC will help fuel us on our way to advance CHN practice, improve health, and influence health equity together.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the 90+ members of CHNBC:
Sandra Betker, Joan Reiter, Karen MacDougall, Anne Clarotto, Maylene Fong, Shari Laliberte, Donna Jepsen (CHNBC Event Planning Committee)
Koh, H. K., & Nowinski, J. M. (2010). Health equity and public health leadership. American Journal of Public Health, 100(Suppl. 1), S9–S11. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2010.191379
of CHNBC Workshop in Vancouver on Nov. 12, 2016
Photo of Dr.
Claire Betker. Keynote speaker at CHNBC
Workshop Nov. 12, 2016
CHNBC Member Contest Winner: Allyn Whyte
In the Spring 2017, the Community Health Nurses of British Columbia held a CHNC membership drive contest for any BC CHN’s who become new members of CHNC. Allyn Whyte, a Clinical Nurse Educator from White Rock BC, was the winner. Here is a little blurb about this extraordinary British Columbia CHN:
I have always had a strong interest and passion for public health and haveworked in this area for 23 years. I was fortunate to begin my nursing career as a public health nurse on the North Shore and then worked in several other communities in both Surrey and Langley. After 10 years of working as a PHN, I completed a Master’s degree in Education with a focus on community and higher education. I then began teaching nursing at BCIT with a focus in the areas of public health and community nursing as well as started working as a Clinical Nurse Educator in Public Health in Fraser Health. In my various nursing roles, I have had the opportunities to work on projects that have supported the introduction of the Core Competencies for Public Health in Canada and the Public Health Nursing Discipline Specific Competencies to PHNs in Fraser Health as well as developed and facilitated a program that supported 130 community health nurses in the Lower Mainland to participate in a learning community and successfully obtain CNA CHN specialty certification.
I decided to join CHNC as I am very interested in the work the CHNC is doing nationally to represent and support community health nursing and as a networking opportunity with colleagues. I am also interested in the professional development initiatives they offer and the publications and resources. I have attended and presented at several of the CHNC conferences and have always found them to be inspirational and educational. I would encourage all community health nurses to consider joining CHNC and contributing towards strengthening community health nursing as a specialty and taking advantage of all the benefits and opportunities of being a CHNC member.