Under the RN Act, 2008, College Council has the legislated authority to govern the College and to uphold the objects:
“In the interest of the public of the province,
- to advance and promote the ethical and professional standards of the nursing profession.
- Promote proficiency and competency in the nursing profession.
- Encourage its members to participate in activities promoting the health and well-being of the public.”
College Council identifies the long-term Strategic Outcomes for the profession and provides policy direction and ongoing monitoring of progress towards outcomes. College staff have the responsibility to develop and implement strategies to move the organization toward the Strategic Outcomes, demonstrate that the policy directions of Council are being followed, and manage the day-to-day running of the organization.
Role and Expectations of College Councillors
Shortly after assuming your role on Council, you will have the opportunity to participate in an orientation session during which you will learn about the role of the College, your role as a Council member, and the Governance approach. During your first year on Council, you will be paired with an experienced Councillor who will be your “mentor”. Registered nurses in Newfoundland and Labrador have been afforded the privilege of self-regulation by the people of Newfoundland and Labrador through the Registered Nurses Act, thus the public or people of Newfoundland and Labrador are the focus of the College and the group that Council is elected to serve. The following general points apply to the role of all Council members:
- The College is the regulatory body for all Registered Nurses (RNs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) in the province. The College advances nursing Excellence for public protection and optimal health of the Newfoundland and Labrador population. The College exists so that there will be: Public Confidence in Self-Regulation; Accountable Professionals; and Evolution of the Profession.
- Council speaks with one voice in setting the policy direction for the College.
- Council is there to make decisions based on what is in the best interests of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and secondarily of the nursing profession as a whole, not individual nurses or groups of nurses. Individual Council members do not “represent” members in a particular region or domain.
- Council as a governing body and the College as an organization do not have a role in advocating for nurses.
Being a member of College Council will require a commitment of your time and energy. At least three one or two-day face-to-face meetings are scheduled each year along with potentially eight two- or three-hour teleconference meetings and an annual meeting. You can reasonably expect that preparation for each meeting will require between two to four hours of reading in order to be familiar with the agenda items. Be ready to take part by coming to meetings with your materials read and be prepared to play an active role in ensuring that Council meetings are democratic and productive.
Council members also serve on the Complaints Authorization Committee (Discipline) and at least one Council sub-committee. See Section 23 of the RN Act, 2008 for a description of the Complaints Authorization Committee.
Council members also participate in other activities that come up from time to time, for example Council and staff visits to worksites throughout the province.
Expectations of the College Chair and Vice-Chair
The position of Vice-Chair entails an additional time commitment as the Vice-Chair is often asked to fill in for the Chair in order to distribute some of the time commitment required of the College Chair. The time commitment required of the Chair can be substantial. In addition to the requirements of a regular Council member, the Chair (with the support of staff) is expected to attend extra meetings to plan and participate in various events, attend miscellaneous events/meetings on behalf of the College such as liaisons with key stakeholders, public consultations, nursing and health conferences, and to give selected media interviews. In recognition of the commitment required of the College Chair, an honorarium of $10,000 per annum ($583 per month) is paid. Please note, the honorarium is considered taxable income by Revenue Canada.
Costs and related expenses are covered in accordance with the guidelines for all Council members participating in College events.