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BCNU defends RN members' right to choose to join newly-formed nurses' association (ARNBC)

  • Bulletin
All legal options will be explored to determine whether CRNBC has the authority to transfer $1.5 million of nurses' insurance over-contributions to fund 'start up' costs of new nurses' organization

​For nearly two years, the BC Nurses' Union has been questioning the need for another BC nursing organization, the Association of Registered Nurses of BC (ARNBC). BCNU has been concerned that RNs would end up being forced to pay fees to an organization that lacked a clear mandate, a business plan and a democratic governance structure.

As an alternative, BCNU President Debra McPherson is promoting a Council of Nurses for BC, which would be inclusive of all nurses - RNs, RPNs, LPNs, Midwives and Nurse Practitioners. All nurses' organizations, unions or otherwise, could send representatives to such an organization. The Council would provide a single powerful voice for all of BC's nurses.

Since the College of Registered Nurses of BC (CRNBC) took over the primary role of regulation, BCNU has taken on a lead role in advocating for nurses and their practice including sound healthcare policies. Despite BCNU's efforts and the resources that have been utilized in this regard, the CRNBC and leaders of the new ARNBC have been seeking to fund themselves as the policy arm and professional voice of BC's RNs by accessing nurses' contributions and fees paid to the CRNBC. At the most recent ARNBC AGM, BCNU learned that the ARNBC represents less than three percent of the member registrants of CRNBC.

BCNU was shocked to learn that on June 21, 2013 the Board of the CRNBC had approved a transfer of $1.5 million, which was derived from nurses' over-contributions for liability insurance, to provide 'start-up' costs for the fledgling ARNBC. Debra McPherson, as a CRNBC registrant and as President of the BCNU, is taking forward a legal challenge of the CRNBC's Board's authority to use past and present nurse registrant's insurance contributions in this manner.

All BCNU members are encouraged to:

  1. Call and email the CRNBC Chair Barb Crook,, 604.736.7331, toll-free 1.800.565.6505, telling her that: you do not support $1.5 million of nurses' liability insurance over-contributions being used to fund a new and unnecessary third nurses' organization in BC, and (if you are a registrant) you want written verification that none of your personal information will be shared with the ARNBC.

  2. Call 604.737.1304 and email the Board of the ARNBC and tell them that you want written assurance that they will not use or dispose of any of the $1.5 million dollars of nurses' liability insurance over-contributions because you support BCNU's view that this money belongs to the nurses themselves.

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