Canadian Nurses Association

The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), known in French as the Association des infirmières et infirmiers du Canada (AIIC), is the national professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed and registered practical nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and retired nurses across all 13 provinces and territories in Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada's publicly funded, not-for-profit health system. CNA represents Canadian nursing to other organizations and to governments nationally and internationally. It gives nurses a strong national association through which they can support each other and speak with a powerful, unified voice. It provides nurses with a core staff of nursing and health policy consultants and experts in other areas such as communications and specialty certification. CNA's active role in legislative policy influences the health care decisions that affect nursing professionals every day. It has published a large number of documents, including the Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses.

Canadian Nurses Association / Association des infirmières et infirmiers du Canada
AbbreviationCNA or AIIC
Legal statusactive
Purposeadvocate and public voice, educator and network
Region served
Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Licensed/Registered Practical Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses, and retired nurses
Official language
English French
Sylvain Brousseau
President Elect
Kimberly LeBlanc
Canadian Nurses Association
Canadian Nurses Association Escutcheon.png
CrestA demi-lion Or grasping a scroll Argent.
BlazonGules three piles meeting in nombril point in base a lamp enflamed Or.
SupportersTwo harts Argent attired and unguled Sable each gorged with a collar wavy Azure charged with lozenges Argent pendent therefrom a torteau bordered Ermine and charged with an ancient crown Or both standing on a mount of maple leaves Or.
MottoScientia Sapientia Humanitas (Knowledge, Wisdom, Humanity)
BadgeA lamp Gules enflamed of three flames Argent.
Granted 15 July 2008[1]


In 1907, representatives of 16 organized nursing bodies met in Ottawa to form the Canadian National Association of Trained Nurses (CNATN). By 1911, CNATN comprised 28 affiliated member societies, including alumni associations of hospital schools of nursing as well as local and regional groups of nurses. By 1924, each of the nine provinces had a provincial nurse's organization with membership in CNATN, and in that year, the national group changed its name to the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA).

The CNA Dutch tulip Celebration Garden and plaque memorial, which were unveiled at the CNA building after 2002, is dedicated to the Canadian Nursing Sisters of World War II and Sharon Nield (Director nursing Policy 1943-2002).[2]


National Expert CommissionEdit

CNA created a National Expert Commission (NEC) in the spring of 2011 so it could draw on both external and internal expertise, gather evidence and participate effectively in the dialogue associated with the anticipated renewal of a national Health Accord for Canada in 2014. With the presentation of a final report in June 2012, the NEC has provided CNA with a blueprint, solidly based in evidence and best practices, to help nurses target what health outcomes they should work toward and lead a shift to a new and improved health system that will meet the growing and changing health needs of Canadians.

The NEC was co-chaired by Marlene Smadu and Maureen McTeer.

CNA CertificationEdit

CNA certification is a nationally recognized nursing specialty credential. It is a voluntary credential for nurses who meet specific nursing practice, continuous learning and testing requirements. As of 2019, CNA certification is available to registered nurses, nurse practitioners and licensed/registered practical nurses. The first certification exam, offered in 1991, was in neuroscience nursing. Today, more than 16,000 nurses are CNA certified in one of 22 specialties.

Nurses' defamation lawsuitEdit

In January 2022, three Ontario nurses who had previously been investigated and disciplined for their social media posts about the COVID-19 pandemic filed a lawsuit against the CNA and British Columbia-based Together News alleging defamation and seeking $1 million in damages. The lawsuit stemmed from an article published September 9, 2021 on CNA's website which "the reckless views of a handful of discredited people who identify as nurses." Two days later, Together News followed with a story about the nurses entitled "Quack! Quack! These pro-virus nurses have dangerous ideas." They were represented in their filing by Alexander Boissonneau-Lehner of Johnstone & Cowling. [3]

Publications and ReportsEdit


See alsoEdit

  1. ^ "Canadian Nurses Association". Canadian Heraldic Authority. Retrieved 4 January 2022.
  2. ^ "CNA Memorial Garden". National Inventory of Military Memorials. National Defence Canada. 2008-04-16. Archived from the original on 2014-05-21.
  3. ^ Butler, Colin (January 10, 2022). "3 Ontario nurses disciplined for social media posts related to pandemic launch $1M libel suit". CBC News. Retrieved 12 August 2022.


There is a Canadian Nurses Association fonds at Library and Archives Canada.[1] The archival reference number is R4440, former archival reference number MG28-I248.[2] The fonds covers the date range 1858 to 1998. It consists of 32.2 meters of textual records, approximately 10,000 photographs, and a number of other media records.

External linksEdit