The professional association:
Alberta Association of Registered Nurses
Nurses begain to form Graduate nursing associations in the early days in both
Edmonton and Calgary. They joined forces in 1914 to become the Graduate Nurses
Association of Alberta. In 1916, the Graduate Nurses Act gave this body the
responsibility for the registration of nurses.
major concern of the Association for many years was the standard of education
for student nurses. An amendment to the 1921 Act gave the responsibility
for setting and monitoring standards was given to the University of Alberta,
and the Association (which had changed its name to the Alberta Association
of Registered Nurses in 1920) continued to lobby for changes.
1932, the Weir Report recommended Canada-wide standards for the size of hospital
that was required to support a School of Nursing, as well as increased training
and education for nursing instructors at these schools. The minimum requirement
for admission to the schools was recommended to be high school matriculation
rather than Grade 8. These recommendations were strongly supported by the AARN
but the changes were a long time in coming.
shortages in the nursing field during the war encouraged the AARN to launch
a recruiting campaign in 1943. It wasn't particularly successful, probably
because of all the well-paid war-work that was available to young women at
the time. The AARN also contacted married women who had resigned from their
nursing positions because of their marriage.
and training of nurses continued to be an issue for the AARN and it continued
to push for more formal education of nurses rather than using students to staff
the hospital. The association proposed to establish a central training
school as was the situation in Saskatchewan, but no funding was forthcoming
from the government.
the AARN developed a list of "delegated medical responsibilities" in order
to define which duties were in the nurses' realm and which were medical acts
that should not be passed on to them. It served as a guide for hospitals and
other organizations for many years, as techniques and practices became more
AARN was restructured in the sixties and by 1965 there were five full-time
staff members to deal with the increasing activities and responsibilities
of the Association. The following year an amendment to the Registered Nurses
Act designated the AARN as the nurses' bargaining agent. The Association
continued in this role until the formation of the United Nurses of Alberta
as a separate bargaining unit in 1977.
continues to act on behalf of the nurses in their professional capacities.
Their continued efforts in terms of legislation covering nursing regulations
and professionalism resulted in the passage of the Nursing Profession Act in
1983 - finally legislating mandatory registration of nurses, a goal of the
AARN for many years.
In 2005, that legislation
was superceded by the Health Professions Act. This new governing law brought
several changes to the professional association, including a name change to the
College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta.