Sunday, June 5, 2016

Registered Nursing in Alberta centennial celebrated at Pincher Creek Health Centre

Josh Davis - On Thursday May 19 CARNA had a display at the Pincher Creek Health Centre to celebrate the centennial of registered nursing in Alberta. Pincher Creek was just one of over 30 small communities visited by this roadshow. Several artifacts were on display, including the Florence Nightingale Pledge, which is a modified version of the Hippocratic Oath, an instruments kit, a military nursing beret from World War II, and World War II medals. The display also included several items given to nursing graduate, such as a Florence Nightingale lamp, a white nursing cap with black velvet ribbon, a St Mary’s Hospital Camrose Alberta Diploma, University of Alberta Hospital graduation pins, and doll from Misericordia Hospital, given to graduates in 1926. CARNA President Shannon Spenceley, a registered nurse for over thirty five years, was present in Pincher Creek with the display that day.

“The display is the same from town to town," said Spenceley. "The staff had to be flexible and set it up a little bit differently depending on where they were. In one place, I think it was Taber, we were actually outside.” Spenceley explained that the items were chosen for ease of transport. “It was a year-long project, trying to figure out what would travel well, and how we could make it interactive. It took well over a year, and there was a dedicated committee of folks working on the schedule and the display. It was pretty well thought out.”

Spenceley said that CARNA held a variety of events for the centennial. “We have one hundred centennial nurses who were nominated by their peers for their excellence in practice and their contributions to the profession, so that was a major announcement. We had a major research conference Edmonton last March, celebrating nursing knowledge and celebrating nursing’s contribution to health and health policy. There was a contest for nursing students to create a multimedia presentation about the history of the profession and moving into the future. And there’s a couple of big celebratory galas coming up in October, in Calgary and Edmonton.”

Spenceley said that she thinks the future of nursing will come with a return to community nursing. “Now as I look forward in the profession, I think we’re rediscovering that in order to promote health things need to come full circle, with a return to the community. We’ve always been in the community, but the bulk of registered nurses tend to work in the hospitals, and now we’re starting to see much more of a push back towards community, back towards where people live and work, which is the whole primary care reform movement” said Spenceley. “I think over the next twenty-five years there’s going to be a real renaissance in community based care.”

“Nursing’s history is Alberta’s history, and every step of the way nurses have been there. There have been some tough times in Alberta, and we’re going through some tough times. But registered nurses step up. We’re there, and we always will be.”

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