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Barb Shellian

CNA President

Barbara Shellian, RN, BN, MN

Watch her incoming speech as president
• Read an interview with Canadian Nurse, “Her watchwords: Resonance, reverberation and relevance

Barb Shellian is a visionary nurse leader whose contributions to the advancement of nursing in the public interest span an extensive professional career.

From 1995 to 1997, as president of the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta, she served on numerous committees at the vanguard of policy changes to improve nursing. She has also been active at CNA for many years, both in committee work and on the board of directors.

Shellian’s leadership was a significant part of establishing the Canadian Association for Rural and Remote Nursing, a national specialty organization that seeks to advance its practice perspective through recognition, research and education. As the inaugural president (2004-2006), she began Alberta’s rural educator telehealth networking conferences to give these nurses an opportunity to share ideas and strategies.

Shellian is co-chair of the International Council of Nurses’ rural and remote nursing network and is acknowledged internationally for her work to raise awareness and improve the practice of nurses working in these settings. Under her leadership as director of the Bow Valley Corridor rural health and community facilities, innovative programs for staff, patients and families have been established that exemplify her commitment to health promotion and primary health care.

Shellian received a Spirit of Planetree Award in 2007 and a People First Award from the Calgary Health Region for her work in patient- and family-centred care. In addition, she is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for distinguished service to nursing in Canada.