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Critical Reflections.

It's a nice warm November evening here in Ottawa. My workday is complete and I shift my focus on the great work going on in the CACCN. Did you get a chance to attend the Dynamics conference in PEI? I always enjoy the opportunities to connect, socialize and learn how we can do better as an association and within our professional lives, as well.

Thank you to our chapter executive leaders who participated in Chapter Connection Day on September 24, 2016. The Board of Directors invited Jim MacKelvie to speak about "synergy" and how we can create energy with purpose to drive continuous improvement in our organization. Great ideas flowed through this interactive educational event. I especially liked the idea of leading our organization to a place where people say, "Did the CACCN endorse that?" This is very much aligned with our mission of "We engage and inform critical care nurses through education and networking and provide a strong unified national identity". So, how do we get there? How do we achieve our mission when there are 17,790 critical care nurses in Canada (CIHI 2014), 1,417 CNA certified nurses in critical care and 1,305 members of the CACCN? Where do we focus our energy when our jobs are so demanding, our families are waiting for us to take a moment with them and life is just so busy and distracting ... much like the U.S. Presidential debates. With all that is happening in our personal world and in the world at large that has a tremendous impact on our peace of mind and our professional practice, I would like to know how we can add value to your membership with the CACCN? Please email me at with a copy to National Office at

This year at the Dynamics of Critical Care[TM] Conference, we introduced online voting, interactive polling technology, live Twitter feeds at the annual dinner, a different time scheduled for the Annual General Meeting to facilitate greater attendance, and longer sessions to help you master a specific skill. These longer sessions were titled 'Mastery Sessions' and some delegates thought this implied you were required to be working towards or have already achieved a Master's degree to attend. We have learned from this confusion and will adjust for next year. We will also be investing in technology to make the abstract submission process, the registration process, access to electronic information and communication seamless and easier. Our Board of Directors was also pleased to collaborate with our exhibit partners and our sponsors who generously fund awards, bursaries, webinars and other events to support your learning, research and recognition of the great work you contribute to critical care nursing.

Our theme for the 2016-2018 term is "Be the Difference." This theme really resonates with me. I have worked with many incredible and dedicated nurses in both Montreal and Ottawa. There are many who have excelled at what I call the three factors of skill, knowledge and attitude. I have truly appreciated working with those who put their patients first, went above and beyond and demonstrated genuine empathetic gestures that set the awesome apart from the amazing. You give so much to your patients--thank you! Be good to yourself and, yes, I must say, be good to one another. I know you are thinking you don't need a reminder and you probably don't, but how about a gentle reminder to role model what is good and great about critical care nurses so that we slowly dilute the proverbial cloud of negativity.

I will leave you with a favourite quotation of mine from Viktor Frankl, "Between stimulus and response there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response." You can choose to be the difference.

All the best

Renee Chauvin

CACCN President


Canadian Institute for Health Information. (2014). Regulated Nurses, 2014. Retrieved from productsZRegulatedNurses2014_Report_EN.pdf
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Author:Chauvin, Renee
Publication:The Canadian Journal of Critical Care Nursing
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Dec 22, 2016
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