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The Mission Statement is the organization's reason for being. It is the most fundamental reason for your organization's existence.


The BCNU protects and advances the health, social and economic well being of our members and our communities.

The Values Statement defines the "soul" of an organization. They are the essential, timeless, guiding principles. The seven core values listed below support the vision and mission of the BCNU and reflect key behaviours that guide our daily actions.


The core values of the BCNU include:

  • Collectivity
  • Democracy
  • Equality
  • Excellence
  • Integrity
  • Social Justice
  • Solidarity

BCNU is a member driven organization and demonstrates:

  • Collectivity by acting together to make certain that all activities and decisions are inclusive and accomplished for the betterment of the whole.
  • Democracy by actively engaging our membership through egalitarian processes where equal rights to both representation and involvement are guaranteed.
  • Equality by ensuring that each member has access to all services of the BCNU. 
  • Excellence by incorporating best practices throughout the organization when responding to and supporting our members.
  • Integrity by being honest, respectful, accountable and transparent: "We walk the talk."
  • Social Justice by advocating and promoting that the social determinants of health be equally accessible to ensure the dignity of every human being.
  • Solidarity by promoting unity of our members based on shared goals and values.

The vision statement serves as a guideline for future strategic decisions. It simply answers the question, "Where do we want to go?"


The BCNU shall be recognized as a champion for improved work life, health and economic status for our members and as a leading advocate for the publicly funded health care system.

The History & Make-Up of the BCNU

The British Columbia Nurses' Union was officially founded in February 1981. But its roots are firmly planted in the struggles of the past.

The Graduate Nurses' Association of B.C. was launched in 1912 and immediately began fighting for quality healthcare, decent working conditions, and benefits like the eight-hour day. In 1946, the Registered Nurses Association of B.C. (RNABC) won its first certification, at Vancouver's St. Paul's Hospital. In 1959, the first province-wide bargaining occurred, resulting in a two-year contract with medical and pension benefits.

Then, in 1980, provincial government nurses went on strike for two weeks and won a 40% increase over three years; general hospital nurses voted 90% in favour of a strike and won a 49% increase, over 27 months, in wages and benefits. The BCNU was born the following year, during a special convention of the RNABC Labour Relations Division. Today, the BCNU represents 40,000 members under a number of collective agreements. The membership is divided into sixteen separate regions, and includes registered and licensed graduate nurses. The voting body at our annual convention consists of elected delegates from each region and the 25 members of the BCNU Council. These nurses are responsible for establishing key policy directions, bylaws, and the constitution that governs the Union's actions.

The Council is central to the operation of our member-driven organization. It's composed of elected reps from all ten regions, steward reps from the three main bargaining groups, the president, vice-president, treasurer, and executive councilors. Council meets regularly to plan and manage BCNU business, and to set policy. The Council has developed BCNU's strategic objectives for serving members.

Council also develops and administers the Union's annual budget reports to the annual convention on the Union's financial status, and authorizes all new staff positions.

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