Skip to main content
Medicine LibreTexts

15.7: Summary

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)


    A registered nurse’s practice is supported by several organizations at both the provincial and national level. Professional regulatory bodies ensure that only members who have met the specified criteria are eligible for registration as an RN, and therefore eligible to practice in this professional capacity. The Canadian Nurses Association acts as a national body representing issues important to registered nursing at the national level. The provincial unions, along with the CFNU, ensure that RNs have a voice and are able to speak about issues without fear of reprisal. The Canadian Nurses Protective Society also serves an important role in supporting registered nurse practice through provision of legal advice and liability coverage.

    All combined, registered nurses have an abundance of organizations supporting them to practise within the expectations of their professional responsibilities. It is important that each RN stay informed as to what priority issues these organizations are working on. It is only through active, engaged participation of RNs at each level that professional RN standards and delivery of safe, quality care is possible.

    After completing this chapter, you should now be able to:

    1. Identify the mandates of the provincial professional regulatory body, the union representing registered nurses, and the four national organizations (CNA, CFNU, CNPS, and CINA).
    2. Describe each organization’s mission and approach to supporting Registered Nurses (RNs) and the delivery of quality nursing care.
    3. Verbalize conclusions as to the current relevance of each organization.
    4. Describe how these organizations are maintaining their current missions and roles or evolving to encompass new missions and roles.


    Union-Focused Questions

    1. Should RNs be able to choose if they want to belong to a union?

    2. Should unionized workers be able to strike?

    Scenario 1

    3. It is your first job. There is no union. How do you know what salary and benefits to ask for?

    4. You negotiate a salary and benefits and find out it is 50 per cent less than what your coworkers are getting and you work more hours than they do.

    (a) How do you feel?

    (b) How will this affect morale on the unit?

    (c) How will this impact recruitment and retention of RNs on the unit?

    (d) How do you go about negotiating an increase in salary?

    (e) How do you address the situation?

    (f) How will raising the issue affect your future opportunities?

    Scenario 2

    5. As a nursing unit, you have identified several ongoing issues affecting your ability to fulfill professional standards. These include:

    • short staffing,
    • replacement of RNs with lesser educated health care providers, and
    • excessive overtime and unsafe working conditions.

    You have discussed these concerns with your manager and have made every effort to reach a low-level resolution. You have not been successful.

    (a) What options do you have to reach an agreement with the employer if you are unionized?

    (b) What options do you have to reach an agreement with the employer if you are not unionized?

    Scenario 3

    6. There is a hospital policy that all RNs must use appropriate turning, lifting, and repositioning principles. Equipment used for heavy lifting is broken and currently the unit is short of staff. The manager directs you to manually move the patient.

    (a) What do you do?

    (b) What is your recourse if you are unionized?

    (c) What is your recourse if you are not unionized?

    Scenario 4

    7. You are working on a unit that is increasingly not replacing sick time calls or vacation leaves, which leaves the unit short of RNs. You identify your concerns to the unit manager, who tells you that due to short staffing as well as budget restraints she is unable to replace absent RNs.

    (a) What do you do?

    (b) What is your recourse if you are unionized?

    (c) What is your recourse if you are not unionized?

    Regulatory-Focused Questions

    8. What are the risks and consequences of having registered nurses’ professional self-regulation revoked by government?

    9. (a) What are the risks or benefits of separating the college function from the association function (i.e., removing the association role of the regulatory body)?

    (b) Who would take on the advocacy role? How would this be developed?

    (c) How effective do you think it would be in terms of representing RN concerns?

    10. What are the risks or benefits of having one regulatory body represent all three categories of nursing providers (RNs, RPNs, LPNs)?


    Akyeampong, E. B. (2005). Collective bargaining priorities. Statistics Canada Perspectives [Cat No. 75-001-XIE] 5–10. Retrieved from

    Annan, K. (1999). Foreword. In C. Bellamy, The state of the world’s children, 1999: Education (p. 4). United Nations Children’s Fund. Retrieved from

    Canadian Nurses Association. (2007). Understanding self-regulation. Nursing Now: Issues and trends in Canadian Nursing, 21, 1–5.

    Duncan, S., Thorne, S., & Rodney, P. (2012). Understanding the implications of the changing regulatory environment in nursing: Insights from the B.C. experience. Vancouver: Association of Registered Nurses of British Columbia.

    Human Resources Professionals Association. (2016). What does it mean to be a regulated profession? Retrieved from

    International Council of Nurses. (2013). Defining nurse regulation and regulatory body performance: A policy Delphi study. International Nursing Review, 60(3), 303–312.

    Mishel, L. (2012). Unions, inequality, and faltering middle-class wages. Economic Policy Institute Issue Brief, 342, 1–12. Retrieved from

    Randall, G. E. (2000). Understanding professional selfregulation [Unpublished manuscript]. Retrieved October 2016 from

    Raphael, S. (2006). Social determinants of health: Present status, unanswered questions, and future directions. International Journal of Health Services, 36(4), 651–677.

    Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association. (2015). Our Role in the Public Interest.Regina, SK: Author. Retrieved from

    Schiller, C. J. (2014). Self-regulation of the nursing profession: Focus on four Canadian provinces. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 5(1), 95–106.

    Storch, J. (2010). Professionalism and the role of the nurse leader: Ethical practice and knowledge utilization. In V .C. Pangman and C. Pangman, Nursing Leadership from a Canadian Perspective (pp. 193–225). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

    Twarog, J. (2005 May). The benefits of union membership: Numerous and measurable. Massachusetts Nurses Association Newsletter. Retrieved from

    Yetwin, A. (2016). Labor lines: Nursing unions matter for the middle class. The Alaska Nurse, 67(5), 18–19.

    This page titled 15.7: Summary is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Beverly Balaski via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.