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Critical Reflections.

As I sit down to reflect and write my last Critical Reflections message as president of the Canadian Association of Critical Care Nurses, I am reflecting with proud admiration for the work that has been completed by the association over the past several years.

Looking back over my term on the Board and my time as your president, I can't help but reflect on where this voyage has taken me professionally and personally over the past five years. Seeing the association theme of "Be the Difference" come to life has been exciting and you, our members, are truly making a difference for your patients and their families.

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."

--Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't

While there is still a lot of work to be done at the association, we must reflect and be proud of what we have gained over the past few years. We definitely should remember to celebrate our successes, both big and small, as these successes demonstrate the unique and dynamic critical care community within our association!

Over several years, we have succeeded in enhancing the association's position as the voice for critical care nursing and critical care nurses through our continued national and international partnership building. As a result, we continue to be actively involved in the national critical care agenda with the Canadian Blood Services (CBS), the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), the Canadian Critical Care Society (CCCS), the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group (CCCTG) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). Internationally, the CACCN continues to liaise with the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), World Federation of Paediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies (wfpiccs), World Federation of Critical Care Nurses (WFCCN), and participate with World Sepsis Day (WSD). We have also continued to encourage and promote the activities for Canadian Intensive Care Week (CICW).

Our strategic plan has provided us with much-needed direction and objectives. As an association, we have worked towards the goals laid out when the plan was implemented. Under the strategic plan, CACCN has taken a leadership role with the Canadian Nurses Association specialty examination for critical care nurses enhancing our relationship with CNA and our members.

The implementation of our four national committees, which commenced under the leadership of then CACCN President, Karen Dryden-Palmer and continued under my tenure, has been invaluable for our members and the association. Through member participation, the association has produced the revised critical care nursing study guide, the Standards for Critical Care Nursing Practice (5th Ed), certification webinars for paediatric members, several webinars and has moved towards restructuring our conference and increasing the rigour of the educational program.

Through our committees and partnerships, CACCN members have actively participated on many initiatives beneficial to our members and our patients and families. Such impressive work with more to come.

Sadly, my term on the Board of Directors will end on March 31. At that time, we will also be bidding adieu to Robert Mazur, as his second term as Director (Central Region) and Chair of the Member Relations Committee will be ending. Rob's humour and experience as a critical care administrator and clinical expert in critical care transport assisted him with the management of CACCN's financial obligations, thus ensuring we remain in a strong financial position.

As well, we will also be saying goodbye to Shirley Marr, as her two-year term as Director (Central Region), Co-Chair of the National Conference Advisory Committee and Chair of the Dynamics 2017 Planning Committee is at completion. Shirley's experience as a critical care educator was invaluable and assisted her with the co-management of the National Conference Advisory Committee ensuring a robust educational program. She drew on her strong organizational skills to ensure the smooth implementation and operation of the Dynamics of Critical Care[TM] 2017 Conference held in Toronto, ON. I am pleased that Shirley will be continuing to contribute to CACCN as an ongoing member of the National Conference Advisory team. Her experience and expertise will be welcome.

Although I am leaving, I am confident we are in good hands with the amazing team that will continue the work of the association as of April 1:
President:        Kathy Bouwmeester (Western)
Vice President:   Melanie Gauthier (Eastern)
Treasurer:        Sarah Crowe (Western)
Director:         Peter Anderst (Director at Large)
                  Lissa Currie (Central)
                  Angela Foote (Eastern)
                  Brandi Vanderspank-Wright (Central)

During my time as a Board member, I have always been thankful for the members who stepped up time after time to "Be the Difference" by providing expertise, experience, and support to the association. Without your leadership, guidance, efforts, and willingness to participate, we could not achieve our goals. Thank you!

"Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life."

--Wayne Dwyer

As I finish this final missive to you ... our leaders in critical care ... I wish all of you the very best, as you continue your own professional and personal voyages. I truly hope your experience is like mine--filled with wonderful colleagues with amazing talent.

Thank you to the Board of Directors and our chapter executive members for your enthusiasm, dedication, knowledge and passion! It has been a pleasure to serve with all of you.

A special thank you to my family. As with most things, we cannot achieve what we wish to achieve without the love and support of our family.

I also thank my colleagues and employer at Queensway Carleton Hospital in Ottawa. I could not have taken this trek without your support and understanding.

I am excited to see the association grow under the leadership of Kathy Bouwmeester, incoming President, who with the Board and our members will "Be the One", working towards realizing CACCN's mission of a vibrant community of practice.

Until we meet again ...

Renee Chauvin

President, CACCN

April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2018


Dyer, W. (2009, September 16). Good Reads. Retrieved from https://

Sinek, S. (2017). Leaders eat last: why some teams pull together and others don't. New York: Portfolio/Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
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Author:Chauvin, Renee
Publication:The Canadian Journal of Critical Care Nursing
Date:Mar 22, 2018
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