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Introducing the new SRNA president

Introducing the new SRNA president

Eisler, Karen

On May 7, 2003 Candace Skrapek, RN from Saskatoon became the 2003 2005 SRNA President. She is a faculty member and clinical placement coordinator in the Nursing Education Program of Saskatchewan, SIAST Nursing Division, Kelsey Campus. This summer I had the distinct pleasure to talk with Candace about nursing and the SRNA.

Why did you become a nurse?

A. When I was a young girl growing up in Winnipeg, I was sure that I wanted to be a teacher. However, a stay in hospital helped me to revise my plan. I was treated so kindly by the nurses during my hospitalization that I became convinced that nursing was for me! My mother and grandmother were supportive of my choice, but both insisted that I attend university and so after high school I enrolled in the fledgling University of Manitoba baccalaureate program. It was in its infancy then and we were only the third class. I have never regretted this choice and fondly remember many of the faculty and fellow students who were such wonderful role models and innovative thinkers.

Q. What have you enjoyed the most?

A. Regardless of where I have worked, I have always been amazed by the infinite capacity of nurses to engage in knowledgeable, skillful, and caring nursing practice. The fundamental strength and compassion of nurses is humbling. Nurses have privileged access to patients and share the most personal and private experiences with them. In return, patients place great trust in nurses, often when they are most vulnerable.

I am indeed fortunate to have been able to combine my early teaching desire with my nursing background. As a nursing educator, I am privileged to be able to observe the endless curiosity of students and their gradual transformation from that uncertain beginning to the confident graduation. I am awestruck by the continual quest of my teaching colleagues to ensure the most current and relevant curriculum and I fully appreciate the mentoring role that practicing nurses play in facilitating the education of future nurses. The complexity of our profession is astounding. I have truly enjoyed being a participant!!

Q. What do you believe are the challenges facing nursing?

A. The challenges are many and varied . . . examples include: the looming nursing shortage, advancement of primary health care, ensuring quality working environments, aboriginal health issues and those associated with rural and remote access to health care, the impact of globalization, determining scopes of practice, maintaining self regulation, new and evolving roles for RNs and challenges to the Canada Health Act.

Q. What can Saskatchewan nurses do to meet the challenges?

A. First we must celebrate our significant achievements and then look to our next steps. Although nursing is one of the oldest and best known professions it is also one of the least understood. Saskatchewan nurses need to continue to look for any opportunity to make nursing work more visible. I am confident that nurses will continue to work toward achieving creative and innovative solutions to the myriad challenges ahead. I believe nurses understand the inherent political and policy-oriented nature of nursing and need to be supported in their efforts as they advocate for healthy public policy. Nurses are beginning to appreciate the benefits of taking action individually and collectively and the persistence of nurses will make a difference. I see the SRNA as an association with enormous potential of its members, the registered nurses of this province, to guide the future development of health care for Saskatchewan people.

Karen Eisler, RN, Membership Coordinator

Copyright Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association Aug/Sep 2003

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