Apr 15

RNs and Alberta Election 2012

This is the election of the decade, maybe of the last couple of decades in Alberta. For the first time, the status quo is being challenged, and voices from all sides of the political spectrum are being heard…and votes are being courted. Couple that with the leading place of health care on the agenda and the recent press about the severity of the nursing shortage in Alberta and it is not difficult to see that RNs have an enormous opportunity for influence in this election. How will you leverage that opportunity? Not sure? Confused about what party is saying what?

Here’s some things you can do. Compare the party promises/platformsclarify your own views on some of the pressing issues (and get ready to be surprised to find out where you sit, I was!) and find out what your nursing associations are up to (and how they can help you!).  The College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) councilors are meeting with their MLA’s, and CARNA President Dianne Dyer is meeting one to one with the party leaders to ask a number of questions that Alberta RNs want the answers to. For example: what are the priorities in Seniors Care? How will primary care move forward, and what role do the parties see RNs playing in primary care? What strategies are envisioned to address the nursing shortage?  CARNA has also prepared a very informative page of resources and information to assist you in getting involved, and I encourage you to visit the site to equip yourself to advocate for health and better health care in Alberta.   Local 115 of the United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) is holding an election forum in Calgary this next week, and if the pattern holds true to what has been experienced with other forums so far, it should be a packed house! Election forums are a great way to get heard, but go with your questions/information in hand, so you are ready to jump to the head of the line when the microphones open up for the crowd–and always identify yourself as a Registered Nurse–never underestimate the power and credibility of that designation.

I’m off to meet my local PC MLA for a quick lunch date, and then coffee with my ND candidate. Next week, I’ll pop in and have a chat with the Wildrose and Liberal candidates for my riding. I’ll post what I learn in each of those conversations.Challenge yourself to do ONE thing, just one, to bring your voice to the issues–and then post a note here and tell us what you did ok?

This is the election of the decade, maybe of the last couple of decades in Alberta.  “Ready, Aim, Fire”?: it’s time to Learn, Engage, Vote!

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