CNO observes National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
On Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we remember the legacy of this country's residential school system and honour the survivors, their families and their communities.
In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission made public its final report, detailing the history of Indigenous children who were physically, sexually, psychologically and verbally abused in government boarding schools. The final report included 94 calls to action for all levels of government, corporate Canada and the public with the power to effect change in key industries.
CNO has taken steps to address the calls to action that are relevant to health care. Our purpose is to protect the public by promoting safe nursing practice, and we know that inclusive and culturally aware nursing practices lead to better patient outcomes.
New RN and RPN competencies include calls to action
In 2019, CNO supported national efforts to revise the RN and RPN national competencies to include the calls to action from the final report. The new competencies require students to know about the commission and its findings, and advocate for using Indigenous Peoples’ health knowledge and healing practices when collaborating with the client and/or Indigenous healers and Elders.
When the new competencies were released, RN and RPN education programs were required to include the competencies in their curricula, and to demonstrate that their programs had theory, application and evaluation components for this material. CNO has ensured that all practical nursing and baccalaureate nursing programs have included this content in their entry-level programs as part of our Program Approval process.
This year, the national NP competencies are being revised. Cultural safety will be a key component of the new competencies.
To provide cultural competency training for nurses, CNO has embarked on several initiatives. For instance, cultural safety and the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are central to our efforts to modernizing the practice standards. When the new standards are released, they will have more emphasis on patients’ values and culturally safe care.
This work is informed by many sources, including the Calls to Justice in Reclaiming Power and Place: the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, feedback from the Indigenous Primary Health Care Council, the annual Calls To Action Accountability: A Status Update on Reconciliation analysis, and continued consultation with DEI experts, focus groups and health care providers who work with Indigenous communities.
Until Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, we are looking for feedback from nurses on proposed changes to our overarching practice standard, the Code of Conduct. The revisions we’re proposing clarify nurses’ accountabilities, set some new standards, and accentuate DEI. You can read more about the changes here.
As well, our Council is incorporating DEI principles into its Board evaluation process. This will assist Council in meeting its governance accountabilities and identifying opportunities for improvement.
CNO’s DEI commitment statement reads: “The College of Nurses of Ontario protects the public by promoting safe nursing practice. We strive to be diverse, inclusive, fair, equitable and accessible by addressing barriers and promoting dignity and respect for all.”
In September 2021, after research and reflection, CNO’s Council began starting their meetings with a land acknowledgement. CNO is located on land that is the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. These lands continue to be home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.