Nursing Education’s Contribution to Strengthening Healthcare

DrCynthiaBakerIn 2004 the First Ministers’ proclaimed that over the course of the next decade Canadian healthcare would undergo a renewal. The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) and its member schools continuing efforts to improve the quality of nursing education in Canada helped contribute to the success of the 10-Year Plan. In 2004 the First Ministers’ called for Strategic Health Human Resource Action Plans – schools of nursing responded by increasing their enrollment by 24.8% (from 33,939 enrolled in 2004 to 42,366 enrolled in 2012). The plans called for the use of technologies, such electronic health records and telehealth, to reduce costs and wait times; CASN, in partnership with Canada Health Infoway, has completed a three year project to help ensure that new nurses graduate with the appropriate competencies related to ehealth and the use of technologies inpatient care. The First Ministers’ proclaimed the importance of health prevention and promotion in a strong public healthcare system. CASN has produced guidelines for clinical placements in community health to ensure that all nursing students receive appropriate clinical experiences in this area of care, and we are currently creating public health competencies that can be integrated in nursing curricula across the country. While I am proud when reflecting of the advances in nursing education and their contributions to the 10-Year Plan to Strengthen Healthcare, I cannot help but think about the next 10 years. Healthcare continues to evolve and so must education. CASN is currently addressing new issues in care, such as the aging population, an increase in chronic illness, and the care of patients with multiple comorbidities through the work of baccalaureate, master’s, and clinical practice task forces.

Please send CASN your comments and feedback on this topic on our Facebook page through direct message – subject Strengthening Healthcare

Send us comments on Twitter too @CASN43 and include #HealthCare!

Looking forward to hearing thoughts!


Cynthia Baker

Executive Director, CASN