Message from executive director Dr. Cheryl Cusack: Advocacy, your voice and COVID-19 concerns

It is a privilege to take on the role of executive director with the Association of Regulated Nurses of Manitoba. I am incredibly proud to lead an organization that represents nurses and the nursing profession during this unprecedented time in healthcare. 

The Association is the professional voice of nurses in Manitoba. It is our job to highlight nurses as experts in healthcare and collectively raise your voices to be heard by decision-makers in our province. It is our job to advocate for you and bring forward both your concerns and solutions. Too often, nurses' perspectives on health services are undervalued and overlooked. We’re working to change that. We know that when nurses are consulted and brought into the decision-making process, the healthcare system benefits from the solutions. This is where the Association’s priorities lie.

I am so impressed by how we are continually hearing that the clients, communities, patients and families you care for are your top priority. They are ours as well. 

I want to thank you for your courage and commitment during this time. I know many of you are worried about the impacts this will have on your family, and I share your concerns. We are focused on providing resources to support you through this, which you can find on our Wellness Matters page; and we are providing a platform for nurses to gain information, talk about current stressors and discuss coping strategies through our Talk Tuesday discussions. 

We will continue to ask for your input and solutions and take them forward on your behalf. In the next few days, you’ll see a survey about the COVID-19 response in your practice area. I hope you will take the time to complete it as it directly informs what we tell government. 

To date, our focus has been on advocating to enhance capacity in the practice settings of public health and long-term care; and to promote safe, quality practice environments. As the strain has expanded across the healthcare system, so will our advocacy efforts. We will share feedback from all practice settings with government and expand our efforts to advocate for broad investment in healthcare. We’ll continue to share the actions we’re taking through our Latest News and Advocacy in Action page.