Introduction & History

“Nursing relies on the reflection of our inner selves and the heritage of our profession to evolve, create, and refresh” – Norma Chaska

When researching and discussing the best theme for this year’s edition of The Pulse, we determined that going back to the foundations of all things College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan (CRNS) would be the best approach. We heard throughout our research phase that while jobs, positions, specialties, education levels and even circumstances change throughout someone’s career when an RN or NP is working in Saskatchewan, the CRNS is the one constant from initial education and registration to retirement. And since we are that constant in every RNs journey, there are many aspects to our work that we want to demystify for you, our registrants, to better understand how you can fully participate in registered nursing regulation in Saskatchewan.

In the last few years, we've seen a mandate change, a name change and consistent updates to our practice standards, competencies and tools as part of filling our regulatory role. We have remained nimble as we respond to health care system changes and the regulatory needs for RNs and NPs to provide safe care for the public. But before we can look forward, let’s review how we got here. As you read through this issue of The Pulse, we encourage you to reflect on where you see yourself in each story and stage of your career. Understanding our past and the motivation for our future helps us all as RNs and NPs to be present and acknowledge where we are in history, and to accept our responsibility to the public and the profession.

How did we get here?

The Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Act was passed on March 10, 1917, and approximately one year later, the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association(SRNA) was formed. The Act of Incorporation declared Jean E. Browne, Elizabeth Van Valkenburg, Norah Armstrong, Jean Wilson, Effie Feeny, Ruth Hicks, Helena Walker, and Granger Campbell as members of our first Council. They represented hospitals in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Weyburn, Yorkton and Saskatoon. From there, the organization quickly developed, adopting a minimum standard of curriculum in 1920 and by 1938 implemented a new provincial nursing curriculum in response to the government undermining standards of nursing education by lowering bed numbers. By 1943, we graduated our first students under this new curriculum.

In 1988, the new—and current—The Registered Nurses Act, 1988 was adopted. The Registered Nurses Act, 1988 was written by the Government of Saskatchewan and determines the CRNS’s regulatory mandate which includes specifics on regulatory requirements for nursing program approval, investigations and discipline, continuing competence program (CCP) and licensure requirements. In 2003, amendments were made to the Act to accommodate the newest designation of RNs—Nurse Practitioners. In 2013, we began to consider the future of the profession. First, a new category of membership and designation was developed to meet the needs of clients in Northern Saskatchewan, providing authority to this group to diagnose and treat Limited Common Medical Disorders as identified in the Clinical Decision Tools (CDTs). In addition to this new category of membership, in January of 2013, the SRNA identified Registered Nurse Speciality Practices (RNSPs) were coming in the near future. By March 2016, RNSPs came into effect and the future of registered nursing in Saskatchewan was changed forever. Finally, the most recent and impactful change started in 2020 and came to fruition in 2021 with a move to a single mandate of regulation and a name change—the College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan.

So that’s how we started. But what now? The 105-plus-year history of our registered nursing regulatory body stands as a testament to the evolving role of RNs in the province’s health care system. With our name change, we identified a call to action for our organization that will propel us forward. The “call to care” signifies our commitment to the profession and our legislated mandate to act in the best interest of the public. For the CRNS, it's acting in pursuit of fulfilling our mission to protect the public. It reinforces our commitment to the profession and our legislated mandate to act in the best interest of the public.

Introducing Kelly, RN (they/them)

To best tell the history of our organization in a way that reflects each of your own individual paths to and in your registered nursing career, we’re pleased to introduce Kelly, RN, our fictional representative to share real-life stories, experiences and interactions of RNs and NPs in Saskatchewan. In coming issues, we will follow Kelly, a fictional character, whose life experiences will represent a collection of real-life stories collected from Registered Nurses in Saskatchewan. These stories will be used to highlight the various steps and milestones a registered nurse could experience throughout their career and how the CRNS is a constant figure in that journey.

Scroll to top