British Columbia Provincial Election 2017

Three organizations I follow closely in my home province of British Columbia have put together informative tools and resources for the 2017 provincial election campaign.

The Public Health Association BC (PHABC) has launched its provincial election platform calling for immediate action to reduce poverty and inequities as well as ideas for longer term policy advocacy. PHABC resources include an election toolkit and an opportunity for sharing ideas on public health issues through a survey on the future of public health.

The BC Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC) has organized its election messages around the UN Sustainable Development Goals, highlighting the point that the Global Goals apply both locally and globally. BCCIC’s election website is worth a visit for great resources and a push for political leadership on these issues.

The Association of Registered Nurses of BC (ARNBC) has developed an election toolkit with information on selected topics including Aboriginal health, rural health, end-of-life care and social determinants of health. For each topic there are briefing materials and suggested questions to ask candidates. The toolkit also offers campaign tips and ideas for use of social media.

Posted by Nora Whyte


Sustainable Development Summit


The long-anticipated UN Sustainable Development Summit is taking place from September 25-27. For news and background, see the Sustainable Development Summit website.

The highlight of the opening day was captured in a statement released on Sept. 25:

A bold new global agenda to end poverty by 2030 and pursue a sustainable future was unanimously adopted today by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at the start of a three-day Summit on Sustainable Development.”

There will be many commentaries in the coming weeks following adoption of a new development agenda. A pre-summit statement from the International Council of Nurses offers a global nursing perspective.


2014 in Review

2014 was marked by numerous opportunities to meet, exchange ideas and learn with my colleagues and to make a change in my role with the Association of Registered Nurses of BC (ARNBC).  During the course of the past 12 months, I have moved from being interim executive director to interim policy lead and, by year end, to senior consultant, nursing leadership.

I attended stimulating meetings and conferences throughout the year, the first being the annual Quality Forum hosted by the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council. The highlight was a presentation by Robert Francis, who led the public inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire National Health Service Foundation Trust in the UK. The audience heard some of the inside story through his description of meeting with patients, families and the brave whistleblowers who insisted that the systemic organizational failures be made public and acted upon. I have continued to follow the story as others have been writing about the issues that came to light and the changes underway as a result of the Francis Report.


BC Nurses at CNA AGM and Convention
June 2014

ARNBC Booth at CNA AGM and Convention 2014

ARNBC Booth at CNA AGM and Convention Winnipeg










Another important event was the annual meeting and convention of the Canadian Nurses Association in Winnipeg in June, where I was part of the team from British Columbia. Highlights included meeting nurses from across the country, observing the proceedings during the AGM, being present for the installation of Karima Velji as CNA President–and saying a fond farewell to outgoing President Barb Mildon–and holding a great breakfast meeting with the Steering Committee for the newly formed Manitoba RN Network.

Meeting of ARNBC Board and Staff with members of the Steering Committee, Manitoba RN Network in Winnipeg


Ms. Charanjit Kaur and Mr. H.C. Rawat
From Baba Farid University of Health Sciences
Visit to UBC, Vancouver – June 2014


The University of British Columbia School of Nursing in Vancouver, Canada and Baba Farid University of Health Sciences in Punjab, India have continued their partnership to advance nursing research and to strengthen hospital nursing practice through continuing education. I have enjoyed my ongoing role during the past few years as a member of the partnership advisory committee.

Visits by faculty members of both institutions continued in 2014 as they worked on joint initiatives through the support of the two universities and the Canada India Education Society.  I was pleased to reconnect with colleagues from India for an informal dinner during their visit to Vancouver in June.

These personal connections with colleagues always stand out as high points of the year as a source of inspiration and ideas for my work…to be continued in 2015.



Nora Whyte

December 31, 2014

Highlights of 2013

This past year saw many positive developments in our work to build a provincial nursing association in British Columbia. The Association of Registered Nurses of BC (ARNBC) celebrated its third anniversary in 2013 and held its second annual meeting. Through a partnership with the College of Registered Nurses of BC, ARNBC has a secure future as we enter 2014. Last month we moved into a new office space on Creekside Drive in Vancouver’s False Creek area where we are so pleased to have a permanent home.

View from New ARNBC Office

ARNBC’s achievements included establishing an innovative Network Leads Program that began as a pilot initiative in the first half of the year and grew into an ongoing program with nurses and nursing students throughout BC taking on roles as ambassadors for the Association. Network Leads are demonstrating success in reaching out to their own unique networks in their communities, workplaces and schools of nursing. They share their experiences and alert the ARNBC staff and Board to emerging issues or needs for support.  Monthly meetings provide a mechanism for staying connected and updated. The Network Leads Page is a good starting point for anyone who is interested in finding a Network or in volunteering as a Network Lead.

Our social media presence grew steadily during the past year as more people used these platforms for engagement with their colleagues. It is fascinating to observe the interest generated by blog posts, as noted in this year-end article.

ARNBC is proud to be a member of the Canadian Nurses Association—2013 brought opportunities to voice perspectives from BC during the annual meeting in Ottawa in June and throughout the year with our president’s participation in the CNA Board of Directors.

Looking back on the year with its challenges and highlights, I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to work closely with remarkable nurses in British Columbia and with leaders in local and national nursing organizations.

Posted by Nora Whyte, Interim Executive Director, ARNBC

News from India: Launch of Dhahan Village Improvement Project


Visit to Dhahan Village, Punjab


Two years ago during a visit to India with colleagues from Canada, we spent an interesting afternoon touring Dhahan village in rural Punjab and meeting with community members. We learned about concerns with lack of sewerage treatment and observed issues with open ponds and garbage in this otherwise beautiful rural setting.

Last month the Canada India Education Society (CIES), in conjunction with the Dhahan village council and the Punjab state government, announced the Dhahan Village Improvement Project.

Dhahan Village 2011



Elements of the project will include a sanitary sewer system, improvements in the water supply, and installation of solar street lighting. The project also has an educational aspect aimed at raising awareness about community practices that will help maintain the overall environment of the village and its surrounding area. It is such a great example of people coming together to implement changes that will make a difference to public health and the environment.

Please visit the CIES website to view a video on the project.

Congratulations to all the partners involved in getting this initiative underway!

Nora Whyte

ARNBC Spring Update 2012

Visit ARNBC Website for More News

The past few months have been exciting ones for ARNBC: the new nursing association in British Columbia is gaining momentum with increased growth and other positive indicators of interest from nurses around the province.

ARNBC’s Consultations Project, part of an ongoing engagement process with nurses, is well underway and is yielding a rich array of ideas and practical suggestions for the future including topics for policy work, ideas for revitalizing the network of specialty practice groups and identification of gaps that ARNBC could fill during the next few years.

As our showpiece project for the first part of 2012, we have created a special Consultations Page that includes a map and calendar of sessions, comments and updates. You can also review and download resource materials—these materials provide additional background and are available for nurses to use in hosting informal kitchen table conversations with groups of colleagues.

We are proud of the work of our Board members and our team from Monkeytree Creative on our website and social media development. It is so gratifying to observe the recent increase in social media followers and contributors as well as the fantastic response to our blog articles. Members of our team and guest authors are coming forward with timely and thoughtful articles and many people are posting fascinating comments. Please see recent posts by Bernie Pauly, Wendy Bowles, Barb Reece and Betty Poag—thanks for sharing your ideas and opinions!

We continue to work closely with the Canadian Nurses Association and look forward to seeing many nurses in Vancouver in June at the CNA Annual Meeting and Biennial Convention.


Posted by Nora Whyte

ARNBC Website



Community Health Nurses of Canada Conference

The program for the 6th annual national conference organized by the Community Health Nurses of Canada is now available. Judging from  the program, it promises to be a great event with some stellar keynote speakers and a wide range of concurrent sessions. The program provides details of several pre-conference workshops.

Having attended the founding meeting of the Community Health Nurses of Canada, I am thrilled to see that there will be a 25th anniversary celebration at this year’s conference. The conference takes place in Toronto from May 14 to 16, 2012.

For other conferences this year, please see my Events page.

ARNBC Developments December 2011

Trumpeter Swans - Comox Bay

The ARNBC Blog is gathering momentum! It has been so interesting  to read the posts and the comments that are being generated over time. Pat Foster wrote a great one recently on the theme of Better Health, Better Care highlighting the role of nurses in chronic disease management.

Two astute commentaries on Pat’s article are worth reading for the authors’ knowledge of the history of the Comox Valley Nursing Centre and for their expert perspectives on the value of a professional association in innovation and policy leadership.

Please visit the ARNBC blog to read other articles of interest to nurses in British Columbia and to add your voice to our discussions.

We are launching a consultation process with BC nurses in 2012–more to come in the next update.


Posted by Nora Whyte

Project Manager, Association of Registered Nurses of British Columbia



Creating a new nursing association in BC

Creating a new nursing association in BC

For the past six  months I have been working as project manager for the Association of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (ARNBC). My role is to support the work of the Board of Directors in creating a professional organization for registered nurses in the province.

The goal is to establish a new organization that will bring the perspectives of BC nurses to health and social policy issues. Once fully established, the new association will carry out strategies to advance the role of the nursing profession and collaborate with other nursing and health organizations provincially and nationally.

The ARNBC and the Canadian Nurses Association have signed a one-year agreement to work together on initiatives that will contribute to  building our new association. We are hosting a cross-country tour to BC by a CNA delegation in December and we’re planning a province-wide consultation process with nurses that will be launched in January. It is an exciting time in the history of nursing in BC.

Members of the ARNBC Board are reaching out through engagement with nurses at meetings, conferences and at schools of nursing this fall. We’re using our blog to post opinions and commentary on topical issues including the new Nurse-Family Partnership Program and a fascinating background piece on Insite, Vancouver’s supervised injection site.

Please visit the ARNBC website for updates, new blog posts and links to our social media sites.


Cultural Safety Curriculum Project: A New Publication

Cultural Safety Curriculum Project: A New Publication

Cultural safety workshop 2010

Last year I worked with faculty members at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) School of Nursing in Kamloops, British Columbia on a project to incorporate concepts of cultural safety into their nursing program. This project drew on the Cultural Safety Curriculum Framework developed by the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada in conjunction with the Canadian Nurses Association and the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing in 2009.

At a two-day gathering in March 2010, the School of Nursing brought together a dynamic mix of students, practitioners, community partners and faculty to explore the curriculum framework. The session provided an opportunity to work with elements of the framework by identifying supports needed for students and faculty and by creating exemplars for future learning experiences at TRU. The exemplars included involving Elders in courses, a community immersion practicum, learning activities on residential school history and faculty immersion in rural and remote First Nations communities.

Star Mahara, Susan Duncan, Joanne Brown and Nora Whyte described this process and outlined the exemplars in an article that is now available online in the International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, published by Berkeley Electronic Press. Our article also discusses the development of an advocacy statement in support of Aboriginal students within the School of Nursing and the university community as a whole.

After reviewing the relevant literature on this topic and writing drafts of the manuscript, we were delighted to receive word that it was accepted for publication following a peer review process. Please find our article, “It Takes a Community to Raise a Nurse: Educating for Culturally Safe Practice with Aboriginal Peoples”, at