Registered nurses in Newfoundland and Labrador have always been concerned with quality nursing care for the public.
In 1916, the Newfoundland Graduate Nurses Association (NGNA) was formed. This association set standards for nursing education and safe nursing practice, but had no authority to enforce them. It was not until Newfoundland joined Confederation that the nursing community took it upon themselves to change this situation.
From 1950-53, a group of nurses developed an act intended to regulate nursing and nurses in the province. The Newfoundland Registered Nurses Act was passed in the House of Assembly on May 20, 1953 and came into effect January 1, 1954.
The new Registered Nurses Act gave nurses the right to regulate nursing in the province and the responsibility to protect the public. In June of that year, ARNNL was accepted as the 10th member of the Canadian Nurses Association.
The Association’s responsibility to regulate the profession and protect the public has not changed. Neither has nurses’ commitment to the people of this province. Nurses continue to value the rights and responsibilities given to them through the Newfoundland Nurses Act.
The Newfoundland Nurses Act remained largely unchanged until 2008, when a new Registered Nurses Act was passed in the House of Assembly on June 4th, 2008. This certainly stands as a tribute to the visionary leadership of the group of nurses who developed the first RN Act in the province.
In 2011, ARNNL became a member of the Canadian Council of Registered Nurse Regulators. The Council, which is the national organization of registered nurse regulators in Canada, provides a forum for provincial and territorial nurse regulators to work together to serve and protect the public interest by advancing excellence in nursing regulation.