Aug. 2, 2022

Q & A with the newly-elected vice president of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA)

UCalgary Nursing associate professor Dr. Tracie Risling (RN, PhD) takes on new role
Tracie Risling, newly-elected vice-president of CNA
Tracie Risling, newly-elected vice president of CNA

CNA is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing, representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed and registered practical nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, retired nurses and nursing students across all 13 provinces and territories. Dr. Tracie Risling joins the seven-member CNA Board of Governors as its first ever vice president.

Why did you decide to run for election for the CNA VP? What attracted you?
"I feel we are approaching a truly historical moment for nursing, not just in Canada but around the world and that all nurses have a role to play in advancing our profession and future role(s). I have long been an advocate for increased nursing voice, not just on social media, but everywhere decisions are being made that will impact our health and well-being. I realized I could also do more in support of this critical work. As someone who seeks out innovative moments and opportunities, the new position at the CNA was a perfect fit!" 

What are some of your goals for the upcoming year as VP?
"This year I look forward to doing a lot of listening, learning more about the priorities of Canadian nurses and collaborating with the CNA Board and members to give these needs national voice. Perhaps even more importantly, I welcome the opportunity to take action, to seek solutions including encouraging more nurses to join us in these ongoing efforts. My campaign included calls to #UnifyNursing, #AmplifyNursing and #PersonifyNursing and I think this will be an important part of my term especially as we welcome nurses from around the world to the ICN Congress next July in Montreal."

Your expertise is digital health and social media.  Do you anticipate leveraging that knowledge into the position?
"Nurses in all areas of practice are essential to the needed transformation of our health-care system. As the pace of digital health transformation accelerates, I do think my particular area of expertise is useful, but it is also increasingly mirrored in the skillsets of nurses across the country advancing their own informatics knowledge.

Part of this historical moment is the changes that are occurring with virtual care and other technological evolutions; because of the work I have done, I know that nurses are essential in facilitating the successful and sustained implementation of these tools.

This is an important national conversation and an area that I do think aligns well with this new CNA VP role." 

You have a lot on your plate with research and your other contributions to nursing groups, including president, Canadian Nursing Informatics Association.  What techniques will you draw on to protect your mental health, your stress levels and not get overwhelmed?
"Well, first I try not to put everything on one plate. Give me a nice bento box and that way I can focus on one thing at time!  I might also recommend a wonderful Twitter thread I was directed to this week where Antonia Forster talked about burnout, how much work we do and why sometimes doing less is not the answer. So for me, being CNA VP is absolutely an Energy Gain, not Drain, as is so much of the work I do with nursing organizations and in our research."