An “inconvenient truth” about nurse staffing cuts

We have heard lots about transforming the in-hospital workforce recently, Change is inevitable – and contentious – but I think one thing we can all agree on is that change has to be for the right reasons, and certainly must be informed by evidence.  That’s what I want to talk about today: evidence.

An article came across my desk last week – a large European study published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet in late February of this year (This is a journal renowned for publishing what scientists call “big science” in the world of health and medicine).

In this study, led by nurse scientist Linda Aitken, the authors aimed to assess whether differences in patient-to-nurse workloads and nurses’ educational qualifications in nine European countries were associated with variation in hospital mortality after common surgical procedures. This was a robust and sophisticated study, examining and controlling for a multiple of variables in the analysis of discharge data for over 400,000 patients. The study also included data from surveys of more than 26,000 nurses practising in the study hospitals, in order to measure nurse staffing and nurse education. Yup, this is BIG science.

What’s it like to sit at the Provincial Council table? In her fifth video blog, CARNA President Shannon Spenceley gives you a glimpse into what being a councillor is all about, what qualifications a councillor needs and how you can apply. Visit the CARNA Election webpage for the nomination form and more details on running for… Read More

Engagement: what does it mean to you?

When I use the word engagement, what comes to mind for you? A marriage proposal (that’s a big one!) or maybe an event you agreed to attend… CARNA is perhaps not the first thing that comes to mind! :)  But these things do have something in common – they are about  commitment.  Yes, I will commit to marry you. Yes, I will commit to attend that event… these are very visible demonstrations of commitment, of time, energy, spirit, emotion…  “Oh brother”  you may be thinking… “here it comes…she’s going to ask me to commit to CARNA!”

That’s not really my point, but bear with me.

In her third video blog, CARNA President Shannon Spenceley speaks about the ever-changing health-care environment and the kind of change that can empower health-care workers to make a difference.

In her second vlog, CARNA President Shannon Spenceley speaks about complexity in health care and nursing in Alberta.

The toolkit phenomenon

“Rules are for when brains run out.”

Is that a great quote or what? It came out of the mouth of the honourable Mr. Fred Horne, Minister of Health, in his concluding remarks at the Inspiring Quality in Continuing Care Conference October 8-9 in Edmonton.

Mr. Horne is a very smart man, with a strong understanding of our complex health system—and in those few words he really captured one thing that has been troubling me across a number of sectors in health care delivery, including continuing care. I call it the “toolkit phenomenon”

Let’s Talk

An introduction

As CARNA chief executive officer, I depend a great deal on the expertise shared with me by provincial council, staff, health care leaders and my peers in health regulation and associations across Canada and internationally. I also would like to hear more directly from you – Alberta’s registered nurses.

The overwhelming number of emails,phone calls and letters from you in response to my open letter about renewal tells me that

Meet Shannon Spenceley, elected president-elect in 2011 and now serving as CARNA president for a two-year term.  In her first video blog to members, Shannon speaks about the challenges facing registered nursing in Alberta and invites you to connect with her. You are invited to post comments by scrolling to the bottom of this page or… Read More