Vital Role of Professional Nursing Organizations in Canada and British Columbia
According to the society of Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia (RNABC), which will be renamed College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC), effective after May 2005, (Seale, 2005) the primary purpose of having professional nursing regulatory bodies and nursing associations for nurse practitioners in Canada and British Columbia are to ensure that all nurses have the basic competencies required of nurse practitioners expected by the public. Although nursing as a profession is regulated in virtually all Western, industrialized nations in some shape or form, in Canada and British Columbia, registrant participation through chapters has long been a particular cornerstone of the governance processes of the profession of nursing and expanded the profession's ability to evolve and serve the changing physical and mental needs of the public. (Nursing BC, 2004)
Nursing Organizations -- Establishing Professional Standards, Contributing to Professional Enrichment
Professional nursing organizations provide vital aid to Canadian nurses. These organizations not only ensure that nurses are certified as competent in the public's eyes, but provide important information to nursing professionals regarding their own health insurance, keep a careful regulatory eye on the need to fulfill nurse's personal health and safety requirements on the part hospitals and employers, and provide a source of comradeship and continuing education for nurses over the course of their careers.
Professional organizations such as the CRNBC ensure that all nurses meet certain core competencies over the course of the initial phases of a nurse's professional orientation and education. These competencies are usually achieved through graduate nursing education and substantial registered nursing practice experience. These organizations ensure that nurses' educations will provide nurses with the ability to show, via their membership and certification that they have satisfied the basic standards to become registered nurses and have achieved the competencies required for registration as a nurse practitioner with their organization. Recently, the Canadian Nurse Practitioner Initiative (CNPI), led by the Canadian Nurses Association, has sought to expand the education and role of nursing practioners by "developing a pan-Canadian framework for the sustained integration of nurse practitioners in primary health care, often the first point of access to health-care services for patients in Canada." (CNPI, 2005)
Nurse practitioner competencies by organizations are used "to establish the eligibility of registered nurses for registration as nurse practitioners." (RNABC, 2003, p.2) Professional organizations strive to define exactly what nurse practitioners are in their defined functioning in the health care system. They are health care providers who provide health care services from "a holistic nursing perspective, combined with a focus on the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses, including prescribing medications. Nurse practitioners work as integral members of the health care team to provide and coordinate initial, continuing and comprehensive advanced nursing services. The changing face of Canada has brought new resolve to nurse practitioners who strive to "serve the ethnically and culturally diverse population" of the nation. The Canadian Nurse Practitioner Institute website is multilingual, both French and English, as well as including links to other language sites with information on health care in observance of this reality of today's Canada. (CNPI Website, 2005)
Also, the aging population and increased lifespan of many Canadians means that nurses must serve patients, "across the continuum of health throughout the life span. The health services provided by nurse practitioners include health promotion and maintenance of wellness," and "illness and injury prevention; and health care management of acute and chronic illnesses, including ordering diagnostic investigations and prescribing treatment (including medications). Nurse practitioners collaborate with other members of the health care team to improve client health outcomes by increasing accessibility to health care services, expanding clients' health care options and filling gaps in health care delivery." (RNABC, 2003, p.4) The Canadian Nurses' Association has lobbied for future legislation to enable nurses to perform some of the traditional functions of doctors, to fill some of the provider gaps within the Canadian healthcare system. (C.N.A., 2005)
Today, all nurse practioners strive to fulfill this vision or mission statement of their profession will attempt to expand upon the nursing profession's essential functions. The national advanced nursing practice has established core competencies for all nurses to fulfill the current requirements of their profession, as well as to serve the changing faces and bodies of Canadian patients. For instance, one of the nurse practitioner core competencies is that a nurse performs an advanced, comprehensive and holistic health assessment, including a health history and complete physical examination.…