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The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) has revived its lexicon of nursing terminology and converted it into an electronic tool that is easily accessible to all members of CNA.

The new e-Lexicon, which employs a user-friendly search engine, contains translations for terms, expressions, sentences and paragraphs that are common to the nursing and the health field in general.

CNA anticipates that this easy-to-use tool will better support nursing practice and the profession itself through improved communication among health-care professionals and with patients, improved treatment compliance, and retention of nursing personnel in minority settings.

Why CNA created an e-Lexicon

This online nursing terminology database is the result of “Projet soins infirmiers en français” (PSIF), a project jointly funded by CNA and Health Canada/Société santé en français (SSF). The decision to create an e-Lexicon came as a result of research, surveying and a national consultation process, which determined that:

  • many francophone nurses are faced with the challenge of acquiring linguistic skills and maintaining them in a work environment where communication is often conducted in English;
  • in several minority French-speaking communities in Canada, francophone nurses have had to study nursing in English and are therefore more at ease with clinical terminology in English than in French; and
  • anglophone nurses working in minority anglophone settings in Quebec would benefit from having a quick translation tool for medical terms.

Certain entries in this e-Lexicon were provided with permission from Conseil communauté en santé du Manitoba (CCS).