Profile: Barb LeBlanc, RN, specialized in ICU nursing for over 25 years, and served as president of the Staff Nurses Association of Alberta (SNAA) from 1986 to 1992. LeBlanc’s proudest accomplishment in this role was the education she provided to her members about the role of unions. She believes that emphasis contributed to the eventual amalgamation of the SNAA with the United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) in 1997. LeBlanc’s philosophy is that communities have a responsibility to provide all members with basic services and income required for taking necessary steps to stay healthy. That includes making public healthcare comprehensive, with pharmacare and perhaps universal dental care as part of the package. During her career, LeBlanc witnessed significant increases in patient acuity, nurse staff shortages, difficulty mentoring new nurses, and backlogs of patients awaiting long-term care beds. By documenting these concerns through the Professional Responsibility Committee (PRC) process, she contributed to positive improvements to her own workplace. LeBlanc believes that the nursing profession is vital to our healthcare system, and that nurses increase their overall contribution as they become aware of their responsibility to raise concerns when the standards of care provided are inadequate.
Keywords: ICU nursing; Nurse shortage; Nursing mentorship; Nursing strike; Pharmacare; Professional Responsibility Committee; Public healthcare; Staff Nurses Association of Alberta (SNAA).
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