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CANNT-CNA collaboration.

This year, the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is celebrating the accomplishment of their 100th year anniversary. The CNA biennium conference was held in Ottawa this June with the theme "Be The Change", and I attended on behalf of CANNT. An Associate, Affiliate and Emerging (AAE) group meeting was held prior to the biennium conference. Karen Neufeld, CNA President, recognizing CANNT's involvement with CNA during their 100th anniversary year, presented us with a certificate.

Many CANNT members may not be aware of the collaboration between CNA and CANNT. CANNT is an Associate group of CNA. A total of 40 AAE groups represent 40,000 of the total 133,700 nurse members of CNA. Examples of other associate groups include Canadian Association of Nursing Research and Canadian Association of Critical Care Nurses. An example of an Affiliate group is the Canadian Nursing Student Association. Examples of emerging groups include Canadian Family Practice Nurses Association and Forensic Nurses Society of Canada. To be an individual member of CNA, you must be a member of your provincial nursing association such as the Nurses Association of New Brunswick, College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia or the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO). In order to be eligible for associate group status >50% of the CANNT members must also be CNA members and a small annual fee is involved. Thus, it is important if you are a member of CNA to indicate so on your CANNT membership form. In some provinces such as Ontario, the legislative body (College of Nurses of Ontario) and the professional body (RNAO) are separate and it is voluntary to be a member of RNAO. One of the benefits of belonging to RNAO is it entitles you to be a member of CNA. On average, 50% to 55% of CANNT members are CNA members.

Historically, it was the desire for nephrology certification that prompted CANNT to explore collaboration with CNA. In response to the CANNT membership in 1987, the board of directors designated nephrology certification a priority and pursued full special interest group status within CNA. At that time, special interest groups within CNA were also members of CNA Advisory Committee. The minutes of a September 1988 report of the certification committee state that the Advisory Council was rapidly becoming a strength with CNA and it is advantageous for special interest groups to have full voting privileges. It would enable CANNT to have lobbying power within CNA and the political backing of CNA for national issues. An Ad Hoc Certification committee consisting of Rosalie Starzomski, Susan MacNeil, Judy Cameron, Linda Panther, Heather Beanlands, Diane Watson and Marg Hanlon-Bell was given the mandate to work on this task. CNA had specific requirements for certification such as: established standards, a role description developed by practitioners, the human and financial resource to support certification, unique knowledge with nursing outcome, core knowledge of nursing practice, care for a defined population, addresses recurrent phenomena in practice and contains technology and/or techniques specific to practice. CANNT submitted a proposal in April 1989, which addressed how CANNT met these criteria and requested that consideration be given for certification. CANNT joined CNA in 1987 and obtained certification status in 1993.

The collaboration with CNA is important for CANNT to facilitate involvement in issues affecting nursing and the health of Canadians. This relationship has evolved over the years. A large component of the collaboration remains to be in regards to supporting nephrology nursing certification. It is the role of the CANNT past-president to be the link between CNA activities, the CANNT board of directors and CANNT members.

Communication with CNA and the AAE group is active with weekly email updates and conference calls as needed. The AAEs are often asked for feedback on draft CNA position statements, policy and other documents. The AAE group continues to have voting representation within CNA, as the AAEs have two members on the CNA board of directors. These board members are elected from the AAEs representing the concerns and issues of the AAE group. Benefits to the AAE group include CNA certification programs, a network of other national nursing organizations and representation on the CNA board of directors.

There is tremendous potential for the future of this group. At the meeting in June, we articulated and agreed upon the need for a strategic plan, goals and objectives and increased involvement in CNA activities. As the AAE group becomes more active, there will be a need for improved and timely communication of this information to the CANNT members. There will be many future opportunities for CANNT to become more active in broad issues affecting nursing and health as the AAE group evolves and operationalizes the goals and objectives of the group.

About the author

Lori Harwood, RN, MSc, CNeph(C), is an Advanced Practice Nurse, Nephrology at London Health Sciences Centre, London, ON.

Lori's volunteer activities related to nephrology include: CANNT--member since 1991; CANNT Board of Directors: Ontario Regional Vice-President 2002-2004, President Elect 2005-2006, President 2006-2007, Past-President 2007-2008; CANNT Annual symposium planning committee member 2006, London, Ontario; CANNT Annual symposium planning committee member 2008, Quebec City, Quebec; Manuscript Reviewer Ad hoc, CANNT Journal; 2005 CANNT Research Grant recipient; presented at CANNT National conferences; published in the CANNT Journal

Canadian Nurses Association (CNA)--Certification in Nephrology Nursing Canada, CNeph(C) since 1997; Nephrology Certification Exam Item Writer, May 2005; Nephrology Nursing Certification Examination Committee 2007-2013.

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By Lori Harwood, RN, MSc, CNeph(C), CANNT Past-President
COPYRIGHT 2008 Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses & Technologists
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses and Technologists; Canadian Nurses Association
Author:Harwood, Lori
Publication:CANNT Journal
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jul 1, 2008
Words:911
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