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Nursing Education Forum 2018

​More than FNHA 250+ nurses participated. Together we care!​


FNHA nurses and community nurses who serve First Nation communities across BC participated in the 2018 Nursing Education Forum (NEF) in Vancouver last month to get the latest education and networking on nursing. The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) holds the forum each year in support and recognition of the value and impact of the service our nurses contribute in their daily work. As the theme of this year’s conference said: “Together We Care”.
Knowledge Keeper Syexwaliya (Ann Whonnock) opened the conference with a territorial welcome, blessing and prayer. Becky Palmer, Chief Nursing Officer, welcomed the more than 250 attendees (approximately 125 plus at each of the two events).
“I’ve had the privilege to share in the rich and vibrant cultures of First Nations communities across BC and my eyes have been opened to the profound impact that remote and rural nurses have on the communities they serve,” she said. “This forum is an opportunity to learn from and share with each other.”
Learn and share they did, with an agenda that offered culture, healing, lively discussion, hands-on learning, and a wide variety of capacity-building workshops. Forum sessions included a series of lightning rounds on topics that included pharmacy updates to nursing resources and many more. A new breastfeeding toolkit – Breastmilk, First Traditional Food – was launched.
Other sessions covered KUU-US Crisis Line and the recent change in nursing regulation in BC. A panel discussion on substance use and a presentation by Dr. Rob Sealey on the medical uses of cannabis each drew widespread interest.

Keynote speaker included Claire Betker, President-Elect, Canadian Nurses Association and concurrent Nicole Wikjord, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Palliative Care Program, Fraser Health Authority.
Dr. Gabor Maté was another keynote speaker.  The Vancouver physician, author and public speaker specializes  in the study and treatment of addiction and mind/body health. During his talk “Caring for Ourselves While Caring for Others” he explained how nurses, who tend to have a strong drive to care for others, too often ignore their own needs by always putting someone else first. “This can have terrible consequences for their own health and wellness, he said. “This tells us something we already know but often forget: for the community or the family to be well, each member needs to be well.”
Community Health Nurse Lauren Evanson - attending her first NEF - said she found her first cedar brushing, from Elder Mike Kelly, very inspiring. “I was [also] very moved by Elder Theresa Campbell and I could feel her love through her eyes and presence. Everyone I met was so nice and authentic. I have never worked for an organization where I’ve felt so comfortable and welcomed by every employee I met, including management.”
FNHA Senior Executive Team members Richard Jock, Chief Operations Officer, and Becky Palmer, Chief Nursing Officer, were on hand to present the annual Nursing Recognition Awards. See below for photos of the award winners and other photos from the two, three-day forums.
We want to acknowledge our FNHA Nursing Leaders who made contributions to the learnings and presented in the 2018 NEF conference sessions. They shared great stories and discussed on a number of nursing topics. We also want to raise our hands to the planning team for making the NEF a success.
Thank you nurses for the work you do each and every day in service of BC First Nations children, families and communities.

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