Canadian Nurses Association
|Purpose||advocate and public voice, educator and network|
The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada. A federation of 11 provincial and territorial nursing associations and colleges representing 148,992 registered nurses, CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.
CNA speaks for Canadian registered nurses and represents Canadian nursing to other organizations and to governments, nationally and internationally. It gives registered nurses a strong national association through which they can support each other and speak with a powerful, unified voice. It provides registered nurses with a core staff of nursing and health policy consultants and experts in other areas such as communication and testing. CNA provides the exam by which all registered nurses, except in Quebec, are tested to ensure they meet an acceptable level of competence before beginning practice. CNA’s active role in legislative policy influences the health-care decisions that affect nursing professionals every day. It has published a large number of documents, including the Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses.
In 1908, representatives of 16 organized nursing bodies met in Ottawa to form the Canadian National Association of Trained Nurses (CNATN). By 1911, CNATN comprised 28 affiliated member societies, including alumni associations of hospital schools of nursing as well as local and regional groups of nurses. By 1924, each of the nine provinces had a provincial nurse’s organization with membership in CNATN, and in that year, the national group changed its name to the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA).
The CNA Dutch tulip Celebration Garden and plaque memorial, which were unveiled at the CNA building after 2002, is dedicated to the Canadian Nursing Sisters of World War II and Sharon Nield (Director nursing Policy 1943-2002). 
- President: Dr. Barbara L. Mildon, RN, PhD, CHE, CCHN(C); VP Professional Practice & Research & CNE, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
- Past-President: Dr. Judith Shamian, RN, PhD, LLD (hon), D.Sci. (hon), FAAN
- President Elect: Dr. Karima Velji, RN, PhD, CHE
- Chief Executive Officer: Rachel Bard, RN, M.A.Ed.
National Expert Commission
CNA created a National Expert Commission (NEC) in the spring of 2011 so it could draw on both external and internal expertise, gather evidence and participate effectively in the dialogue associated with the anticipated renewal of a national Health Accord for Canada in 2014. With the presentation of a final report in June 2012, the NEC has provided CNA with a blueprint, solidly based in evidence and best practices, to help nurses target what health outcomes they should work toward and lead a shift to a new and improved health system that will meet the growing and changing health needs of Canadians.
The NEC was co-chaired by Marlene Smadu and Maureen McTeer.
Publications and Reports
- Principles to Guide Health Care Transformation in Canada (joint publication between CNA and the Canadian Medical Association)
- Harm Reduction and Currently Illegal Drugs: Implications for Nursing Policy, Practice, Education and Research
- Social Justice: A Means to an End, an End in Itself, 2nd Edition
- Recommendations of the Canadian Nurse Practitioner Initiative, 2009
- Nurses at the Forefront of HIV/AIDS
- 2010 Workforce Profile of Registered Nurses in Canada
- 2010 Workforce Profile of Nurse Practitioners in Canada
- "CNA Memorial Garden". National Inventory of Military Memorials. National Defence Canada. 2008-04-16.