Current Issues

An important part of the Association's mission is advocacy and advancing nursing and health. With the mission in mind, the Association is working with our partners both provincially and nationally on important issues related to nursing, healthy public policy and advocacy.

scroll down to see all the issues. 

Building a Relationship with Government

Throughout 2017, the Association has had the opportunity to represent the professional voice of registered nurses at a variety of levels within the Manitoba government. 

The first and most notable meeting was between the Association’s executive director Mary Smith and chair Margaret Rauliuk, and the Deputy Minister of Health, Karen Herd and executive director of health human resource planning, Sean Brygudre to discuss opportunities for collaboration on issues that impact nursing practice and healthcare. The knowledge and skills that registered nurses can bring to the table was identified as beneficial, particularly considering the challenging and changing healthcare environment.

A number of connections and invitations to meet with other government groups, and to participate on key stakeholder committees resulted from this initial meeting. Mary presented to the provincial health services leaders group that represents the CEOs, executive directors and various government sector officials. Mary now meets regularly with government staff. The Association welcomes these connections and the opportunity to forward our mission of advocating for registered nurses and the health of people living in Manitoba.

Medical Assistance in Dying

The National Nursing Framework for Ethical Decision Making in Medical Assistance in Dying (Ethical Framework) was approved by the CNA Board in November 2016. Nurses are now able to access the framework on the CNA site

Canadians have been able to access medical assistance in dying since June 2016. The focus of the Association is now supporting nurses in using the Ethical Framework and on removing legislative barriers. CNA is addressing the legislative barriers at a federal level. The Association is working to address barriers at a provincial level.

Specific guidance regarding nurse’s responsibilities is available from CNPS at and from the College of Registered Nurses at Resources for health care providers and the public can be found at

On June 15, the Association partnered with CNPS to offer webinar exclusive to members on Medical Assistance in Dying.

Read More:
The Association and Medical Assistance in Dying 
Medical Assistance in Dying Task Force 

Get Your Benefits Project

The Association is pleased to partner with the Government of Manitoba, the University of Manitoba, Health Sciences Centre, the Manitoba College of Family Physicians and Community Financial Counselling Services on The Get Your Benefits Project.
The Get Your Benefits Project is a set of tools to help care providers share information about accessing the programs, supports and tax benefits that provide funds to families to help meet their needs. The program was created based on the recognition that income is a powerful determinant of health. 

Click here for more information and to access the tools.

Harm Reduction

Harm reduction was identified by members as a priority issue at the Association AGM in March. The following motion was brought forward by members and passed:

“To partner with CNA and the Aboriginal nurses of Manitoba to work towards awareness, collaborative action, cultural safety and cultural sensitivity around the issues of addictions and harm reduction practices.” 

In response the Association has begun to develop activities and advocacy in this area and will continue to dive deeper into this work. 

  • We have met with key stakeholders to discuss collaborative opportunities including the Manitoba Harm Reduction Network, WRHA Healthy Public Policy and WRHA Healthy Sexuality and Harm Reduction
  • The Association will be a key stakeholder on the Manitoba Harm Reduction Leadership Council
  • The Association hosted “Harm Reduction: Because it’s 2017” presented by Shelley Marshall RN PhD(C) on June 6
  • The Association participated in the Drug & Overdose Matters – Healthy Sexuality and Harm Reduction Conference 
  • In July, the Association met with Manitoba Health, Population and Public Health to discuss the opioid crisis 

Additionally, the Association has consulted with CNA. CNA has done work nationally around this issue, including a recent webinar series — Substance Use Trends in Canada: What Nurses Need to Know (2017). These resources can be found at

CNA Code of Ethics

The CNA Code of Ethics is being revised to ensure it remains relevant in contemporary practice.  The Association invited nurse ethicists and other interested members to provide feedback on the draft so that the Code continues to support Manitoba nurses in the years ahead. There has never been a time when guidance and ethical decision-making has been more important for nurses. Nurses encounter ethical issues in every day practice in every setting and every role. 

The revised Code of Ethics launched in August 2017. Working with the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba we have presented on the changes to the Code of Ethics. This webinar can be found on our Webinars page