Starting point. The Alberta Association of Nurses (AAN) has a unique story behind its formation. Many of the activities the group will do—conferences, professional development, advocacy—were previously performed by the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA), which regulates and licenses nurses in the province. When legislation passed saying organizations couldn’t both regulate and advocate, CARNA kept its regulatory duties and began operating as the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta, and AAN was formed.
“This was really the opportunity to start a standalone professional nursing organization,” said Kathy Howe, executive director of AAN. “We’re including registered nurses and nurse practitioners, but we’ve also expanded. We have licensed practical nurses and registered psychiatric nurses. So, for the first time in Alberta, now we have this professional nursing association that includes all the nursing disciplines.”
Early work. Right now, AAN’s main goal is to help nurses in the region understand that it’s a new, separate group. A page on AAN’s website explains the difference between the three organizations Alberta nurses can belong to. One challenge in reaching nurses to tell them about the new group is that CRNA can’t share the contact information of the 65,000 nurses it licenses with AAN.
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