A Reflection on National Nursing Week

CynthiaHouseofCommonsApr2014-1This year, for me, Nursing Week began at Iskotew Lodge in Ottawa. I was honoured to be among the guests at an award ceremony for three outstanding community health nurses working in First Nations and Inuit Communities across Canada.  The significant contributions of Alison Lynch of South India Lake, Manitoba, Lianne Mantla of Behchoko, Northwest Territories, and Rachel Munday of Aklavik, Northwest Territories, to the health of their respective communities were recognized at this event by the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada.  During the event, the Masters of Ceremony, Daniel Richer, First Nation Elder Annie Smith-St. Georges,  and Inuit Elder Sally Webster spoke eloquently about the care provided by the award winners in addition to the great value of the services nurses in general are providing to their communities. While the technical knowledge and expertise nurses bring, as front line health care providers, are clearly important to the communities they serve, the social and emotional support they provide is pivotal.  Reflecting on the day, and on nursing, I felt that the speeches, the letters of nomination from the Northern Communities, and the event itself validated the emphasis, in Canada, on educating nurses who are well prepared in relational practice and who are able to work with social determinants of health.

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