President’s Message

Good evening and a warm welcome as we open the 8th Annual General Meeting & Conference in Saint John, New Brunswick.  As a National organization we take pride in hosting the annual conference across our great country to give all foot care nurses an opportunity to attend.

Although we have Advisors in many jurisdictions, we still need your help. Some of the advisors have been with CAFCN for several years and have decided it is time to take a step back, giving others an opportunity to become involved.  CAFCN is currently looking for enthusiastic individuals who are dedicated to advancing the practise of nursing foot care. If you are passionate about our profession, please consider letting your name stand.

The CAFCN website has had an increase of 5.78% (26, 400) visits over the past year,  This can be attributed to increased awareness of the organization among nurses, increased use of the website and/or increased use in the general public’s awareness of ‘foot care’ and their searches for someone. I am very pleased to tell you that we have representation from all provinces except PEI, the Yukon, Northwest and Nunavut Territories.  I am pleased to welcome several of our American nursing colleagues.

In the past we have been asked to define basic and advanced nursing foot care. The College of Licensed Practical Nurses Nova Scotia defines basic foot care as an entry level competency, basic meaning a client with no pathology or disease of or affecting the feet. When clients are experiencing alterations or variations in their health as the result of pathology such as PAD or diabetes, the nurse requires specific knowledge, skill and judgment to ensure his/her practice is safe, competent and ethical. They go on to say that this specific knowledge comes from a post-basic program.  CAFCN’s focus remains on advanced nursing foot care, beyond an entry level competency.

In follow up from last year’s meeting:

  • I reported that CAFCN had applied to trademark our logo and shortly after returning from the Montreal meeting we receive notice that the trademark was approved.

  • I also reported that the competency project was going to wrap up by early fall, the project went on longer than was anticipated, but finalized this spring.

In late October CAFCN posted a notice on the educational page of the website saying, “with the competency document nearing completion, CAFCN has put a hold on adding any new educational programs to the website. CAFCN does not endorse any education programs or have influence over curriculum, course material, or educational outcomes.” CAFCN will be developing a process to ensure all programs advertised align with the national competencies document.

This past year, CAFCN attended the CAWC Conference (Wounds Canada) in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and most recently earlier this month in Kamloops BC as a vendor. The exposure we received was invaluable, as well, we met key stakeholders and foot care nurses. CAFCN has also attended nursing foot care conferences in London, Kitchener and Ottawa ON, with plans to attend upcoming conferences in Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton.

CAFCN has either met or had teleconference meetings with the Pedorthic Association of Canada, the Canadian Podiatry Medical Association, the Independent Business Specialty Interest Group of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and the Canadian Life & Health Insurance Association.

As an Executive, we always strive to do the right thing, while using our best judgment to uphold the direction and mandate of the Association. CAFCN is continually being contacted by new foot care nurses, students enrolled in programs, employers, members of the public, regulatory bodies all seeking information. It is still not uncommon to hear someone say “I have never heard of CAFCN” telling us that there is still a lot of marketing for us to do.

Much of our attention this past year has focused on completing the competencies document, as well as embarking on a marketing campaign. Both of these committees will report later this evening.

I would like to express my thanks to the volunteers on the Executive, Provincial & Territorial Advisors and to all committee members who generously donate their time and expertise to CAFCN. Your contribution does not go unnoticed. It is your leadership, knowledge and inspiration that provide the credibility to keep CAFCN moving forward. Thank you to Kathleen Stevens and Pamela Ward for producing the CAFCN newsletter. Thank you to Carol Tomalty of Carric Design for managing the day to day updates on the website. Thank you to JoAnne Graham and her staff for all their assistance while preparing for the conference. I would also like to thank Dr. John Collins for his expertise in leading us in the competencies project and his ongoing support.

We have come a long way since that first meeting in 2007 of 13 like-minded nurses in Kitchener, Ontario, but there is still a long way to go.

As my Presidential term comes to an end, my passion does not end here. Four years ago I said my role was to facilitate our actions to ensure CAFCN is continually in a forward motion, always mindful of our Bylaws, Mission Statement and to keep focused on our goals. Well… I am still focused. There is a saying, “the only thing you get from looking back is a sore neck”, and so we will stay focused on the tasks ahead. There is still much to accomplish as we prepare for national certification. For the past year Kirsten Hansen has been in transition to become the President. It is bittersweet and with excitement that I pass the torch. Kirsten has vision and leadership to lead CAFCN through the next phase of development.

Nursing foot care continues to be recognized as preventative care that enhances the health and well-being of all Canadians. This conference will provide an opportunity for foot care nurses to network, collaborate and share knowledge.

I hope you find time while in Saint John to see the sights. Once again we look forward to a productive and rewarding conference, with a balance of learning and fun!


MacDonald - signature

Pat MacDonald
President, CAFCN

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