Dear Canadian Family Practice Nurses,
May 6 to May 12 is National Nursing Week in Canada. The theme this year is adopted from the International Council of Nurses A Voice to Lead – Health for All. This call to action was inspired by Florence Nightingale who stated “to be in charge is certainly not only to carry out the proper measures yourself but to see that everyone else does so too”. I think Florence was hinting at the power of being an effective team member. Florence knew that working alone would not produce the large systems changes required during the Crimean war any more than the solo provider can transform the health care system of today. In the Framework for the Practice of Registered Nurses in Canada the National Expert Commission calls on nurses to “intensify their role as leaders of system transformation” (p. 25, 2015). These leadership skills include, but are not limited to, highly developed collaborative and team building skills (CNA, 2015).
In October 2018 the Astana Declaration, building upon the 1978 Alma-Ata Declaration, called for renewed focus on primary health care as the most effective way to sustainably solve todays health system challenges (World Health Organization, 2019). The Astana Declaration calls for the development of quality primary care that is continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, community orientated and people-centered (WHO, 2019). Family practice nurses are well positioned to support primary care teams as they enact quality primary care within the complexity of Canadian health care.
As we celebrate Nursing Week 2019 thank you for allowing me the opportunity to engage in family practice leadership on behalf of CFPNA. I continue to be motivated by the professionalism and dedication which shows through the excellent patient care family practice / primary care nurses provide every day. I encourage you to share your stories with family, friends, the public and politicians so they too may be inspired by all you do.
Treena Klassen R.N., B.N., A.S.M.H., M.Ed
Executive Director Palliser Primary Care Network
President Canadian Family Practice Nurses Association