February 1, 2022 — For several years, the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) has been advocating for the federal government to reinstate the position of the federal chief nursing officer (CNO) for Canada, and we are delighted to see Health Canada officially launching a hiring process.
The CNO will strengthen Canada’s health system by providing strategic policy advice from a nursing lens to Health Canada. It will also be essential in supporting a national response to the significant shortages in health human resources that exist across the country and in stabilizing the nursing workforce beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This announcement comes at a time when Canada is facing a health workforce crisis. The pandemic has been unrelenting for nurses and has led to extreme burnout and the desire by many to leave the profession,” said Tim Guest, president of CNA. “Re-establishing the CNO sends a powerful message to all nurses that the federal government recognizes their immense contributions, expertise, and sacrifices throughout this pandemic and intends to act to stabilize the situation.”
While the position exists today in some Canadian jurisdictions at the provincial and territorial levels, and in many other nations, it was rescinded federally in the last decade and has resulted in a fragmented approach to national nursing and health policy.
“As the most trusted and respected health professionals in Canada, an empowered and effective nursing leadership is essential to mobilize appropriate resources and shape health policy and strategic direction,” said Guest. “We have held numerous meetings with senior government officials, members of Parliament, and sent letters to both the prime minister and heath minister, highlighting the importance of reinstating this role for not only the nursing profession, but for Canada’s health systems. We are very happy to see that the key competencies included in the job description align with CNA’s recommendations.”
Interchange Canada will be used to recruit this role. Any individuals residing in Canada and Canadian citizens residing abroad who meet the qualifications can apply.
CNA encourages senior nursing leaders to apply for this strategic position by visiting the online posting. The application deadline is February 28.
About the Canadian Nurses Association
CNA is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing. We represent registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed and registered practical nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, retired nurses, and nursing students across all 13 provinces and territories.
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