At an open meeting in January 2014, the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (CRNM) announced that it had to change its mandate in response to the incoming Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA). The CRNM would continue in its regulatory role in protecting the public via standards of care and defining nurses’ roles and responsibilities. It was, however, unable to maintain its mandate to represent the profession of nursing. It also would no longer be able to advocate on behalf of the health of people living in Manitoba, could not be the jurisdictional member on the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) Board of Directors and, most importantly, it would no longer be able to act as the “professional voice” for nurses in the province. In other words, the voice of RNs in Manitoba was potentially going to become silent.
With the passing of the RHPA, CRNM would be prohibited from collecting fees for another body (i.e. CNA). The government of the day also identified that CRNM could not participate in lobbying activities similar to those of CNA. Thus CRNM jurisdictional CNA membership could not be maintained. It was felt that a potential conflict of interest could occur if the CRNM advocated for nurses while continuing to provide professional liability. The CRNM mandate to protect the public, thus providing this coverage, while at the same time investigating and enforcing disciplinary actions in situations where the CRNM mandate of maintaining public protection was challenged could result in a perceived conflict of interest.
The Manitoba RN Network (MRNN) was created with the purpose of exploring the need, mandate, and feasibility of establishing a new professional association in Manitoba. One of the steering committee co-chairs is our very own Tracey Fallak. The Network held a series of meetings with various stakeholders from the nursing profession, associated agencies, and government officials; completed an environmental scan; and sent out a survey over the course of approximately two years to help determine the feasibility of establishing the new Association of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (ARNM). A number of strategic goals were formulated along with a series of points as to how the voice of nurses in Manitoba would be maintained.
At the end of these numerous endeavours, the MRNN was incorporated and became the Association of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (ARNM). The members of the steering committee on the MRNN became the board and Karen Dunlop was hired as interim director to help guide nurses through the new processes involved in obtaining Canadian Nurses Protective Society (CNPS) coverage and maintaining CNA membership.
Tracey is excited about the new association and about asking RNs what having the new association will mean for them. She believes firmly that the strong professional voice of registered nurses will advocate and promote the health of people living in Manitoba and the scope of practice of Registered Nurses. The professional voice of ARNM will strive to ensure that the voices of Manitoba RNs will be heard locally, nationally, and internationally.
Become involved by visiting the ARNM website.