October 2021

Join a committee and contribute to safe nursing practice

It’s that time of the year again when we invite you to participate in the regulatory processes that contribute to safe nursing care by joining a committee.

When you serve on a statutory committee, you bring your unique practice experience and insight to important decisions that make a difference in nursing care for patients and their loved ones.

Wondering what it’s like being on a committee? Read the comments below from two current committee members.

Serving is a privilege

“Serving is a privilege that comes with great responsibility,” says Priscilla Ankamah, RN, Nurse Case Manager at Hamilton Mental Health Outreach. “I support efforts to ensure that only those fully qualified persons are registered to practice nursing in the interest of Ontarians.”

Priscilla Ankamah, RN

Ankamah does this by serving on CNO’s Registration Committee. This committee reviews applicants’ matters related to meeting CNO’s registration requirements.

“The work is both challenging and rewarding,” she adds. “I enjoy the culture of collaboration and discussion and the chance to add value. There is mutual respect among members during meetings resulting in a healthy environment where other perspectives are welcomed.”

If you don’t feel like you have what it takes to serve on a committee, Ankamah can assure you that CNO provides the support needed to succeed. “The whole onboarding process at the beginning was very valuable, as it made me feel better prepared to succeed versus being rushed into the role unprepared,” she says.

“It is an excellent opportunity to support public safety. You work with others from diverse backgrounds, develop new sets of skills around leadership, and improve your confidence in public speaking. In addition, you gain a profound understanding of the legislative and regulatory laws that govern the profession and develop a deeper appreciation for CNO and its processes.”

A most rewarding experience

“Contributing professionally on committees is one of the most rewarding nursing experiences I have encountered. It not only assists in protecting the public but serving my fellow nursing professionals,” says Mary Ellen Renwick, RN, who has worked in health and wellness, senior living and nursing best practices.

Mary Ellen Renwick

Added to that list is her role on CNO’s Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC). ICRC looks at matters related to public complaints or reports. Then, it determines whether actions, such as remediation and/or a verbal caution, would address the public interest or if a hearing is required. She notes: “At CNO, you are respected for your knowledge, experience, communication and practice; while learning about leadership, camaraderie and how truly effective teams work!”

“My nursing knowledge and experience help me share best practices with my peers,” says Renwick. “Being familiar with the circumstances and challenges other nurses face, I am able to add my voice to solutions that contribute to protecting the public.”

Nurses who participate in committees can expect benefits beyond contributing to safe nursing practice.

Renwick encourages nurses to not hesitate if they are interested in joining a CNO committee “I wish I had overcome my personal insecurities much earlier in my career and embraced this CNO experience. I challenge nurses to expand their horizons by serving on a committee. Whether you are a nurse with years of experience, or a relatively new nurse, the personal and professional rewards will exceed your contributions!”

Run for Council

You can also get involved by running for election to CNO’s Council. Council is CNO’s board of directors, and it’s comprised of nurses and members of the public. Together, they make important decisions that shape the regulation of nursing and promote public safety. We’re currently holding elections in certain districts — find out if you’re eligible to run on our Council Elections page.

We invite you to expand your horizons and join a committee or run for a seat on Council. You’ll be glad you did.
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