I will be going to Canada this week to present content regarding CNSs and Innovation...my thoughts of course turned to how the current state of affairs in the US will impact the CNSs in Canada.
CNSs became part of the healthcare system in Canada after it was created in the US. In the US Hildegarde Peplau created the role in the 1950's. It took about ten years for the concept to diffuse to Canada and the role took root in the 1960's. It has had a similar trajectory to that of the US CNSs so it will be interesting to see what happens in Canada as the CNS leaders look to what is happening in the US in regards to CNS practice, education, and integration into the healthcare system.
I have the great privilege of being able to present to the CNS Association of British Columbia (CNSABC) at their annual conference on April 28th in Vancouver, B.C. For half the day they will be talking about how to be innovative and look to health policy and integration of the role. Although I am Canadian by birth I have to admit that I have not kept pace with what is happening in the Canadian health care system in particular about the role of the CNS. I am looking forward to sharing perspectives and listening and learning a lot.
I know that there have been recent upheavals in the recognition of CNSs and a separation of the CNS organization from the Canadian Association of Advanced Practice Nurses (CAAPN), a special interest group of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA). There are stories on both sides of the discussion (as there always are!) and I am not sure what is being sought by the CNSs and the reasons they pulled away from CAAPN. My hope is that the move was strategic enough to gain what is desired and that there is a clear definition of what they see for the future of CNSs in the country.
CNSs in both the US and Canada are recognized for their ability to innovate and work with the system to ensure patient safety and quality of care. My question revolves around how the movement in the US to affirm the role as advanced practice and to move forward with some significant changes related to certification and prescriptive authority (optional) will impact the further development of the role in Canada. Any Canadians who are reading this...please jump in with your thoughts. Educate us in the US regarding how you perceive the role and how you think it will change over the next ten years. Will the changes in the US impact the direction CNSs take in Canada or will you forge your own path? Let us know!