The NSCN Board is seeking feedback on the proposed by-laws for the election of registrants to the Board. This includes by-laws on:
- Board term limits
- Process to fill Board vacancies
- Board composition and quorum
- Eligibility pool for election nominations
- Election process of registrants to the Board
- Eligibility criteria of registrants to vote in an election
- Circumstances for removing a registrant from the Board
- Election of Board Chair and Vice-Chair
To provide feedback, please review the proposed by-laws and complete the online survey found below. For additional clarity, the survey also includes a plain-English summary of the proposed by-laws, a visual illustration of the proposed election process and a link to the current NSCN by-laws.
Background on Consultation
The NSCN Board is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organization and ensuring that it meets its mandate of public protection. The Board consists of members of the public appointed by government and registrants elected by the nursing profession.
As the first governing body of NSCN, one of the Board’s priorities has been to develop new by-laws that govern the election process of registrants to the Board that incorporate the following:
1. Meets legislative and policy requirements
The proposed by-laws meet the requirements and are consistent with the new Nursing Act, NSCN regulations, and the Nova Scotia Self-Regulated Professions Policy and Guideline. This includes requirements related to Board size, length of terms, public representation and Chair and Vice-Chair elections.
2. Incorporates best practices that reflect accountability to the public
The proposed by-laws incorporate best practices and expert advice on designing an election process that reflects the Board’s accountability to the public. Research shows that when registrants elect registrant members to the Board, it may create an environment where registrant Board members feel a greater sense of accountability to the profession than to the public. As a result, the Board has a responsibility to design an election process with additional measures to ensure all Board members are committed to maintaining public protection and in making decisions based on the best interests of the public.
3. Embraces a Board with diverse competencies, qualities and experiences
The proposed by-laws embrace the philosophy that the Board functions best when there are individuals serving the public with diverse competencies, qualities and experiences.
This philosophy, known as a competency-based approach, means that registrants will be recruited and screened for election based on the competencies, qualities and experience that are required on the Board at the time. This is an evolution from past practices in which registrants were elected to the Board based on static criteria, such as geography or area of nursing practice.
A competency-based approach ensures that the Board as a whole has the right mix of skills and experience to govern effectively and helps to ensure that the Board reflects the diversity of the public they serve. The proposed by-laws incorporate this philosophy into the election process while making sure that all eligible registrants have the opportunity to stand for election.
4. Reflects an open, transparent and participatory process for registrants
The proposed by-laws reflect an open, transparent and participatory election process for registrants. By using an election rather than an appointment process for registrant members to the Board, there are many opportunities for registrants to participate in the process, including as a candidate, nominee, Chief Elections Officer and voting registrant. It is important for the Board that registrants, as self-regulated professionals, are able to self-govern the nursing profession on behalf of the public.
More Topic Resources
The Board developed the proposed by-laws based on evidence, expert advice and best practices. For more information on the online resources used by the Board, visit:
- Modernizing the Provincial Health Profession Regulatory Framework: A Paper for Consultation (British Columbia Government, 2020)
- Building Competency-Based Practice Into Democratically Elected Boards (Journal of Nursing Regulation, 2020)
- An Inquiry into the Performance of the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia and the Health Professions Act (Professional Standards Authority, 2018)
- Trends in Regulatory Governance (College of Nurses of Ontario, 2016)
Consultation Next Steps
Once the consultation is closed, the Board will review the consultation summary prior to their decision on whether to approve the by-laws. NSCN will also share a consultation report with the public and registrants by mid-December.