Joint Nursing Advisory (NAC) Process

In the interest of patient safety and safe nursing practice, as per Articles 9.03, 56 and Appendix B of the SUN/SAHO Collective Bargaining Agreement, SUN and the Employer/SAHO, have agreed to a proactive process to low level resolution to address concerns raised which involve:

  • Nursing Practice Concerns
  • Safety of patients and registered nurses
  • Workload/Staffing Levels/Patient Acuity
  • Other factors which negatively affect patient care

Process Highlights

Rooted in a foundation of transparency, accountability, respect and open communications, the new Joint Nursing Advisory Committee (NAC) Process is designed to take a proactive and collaborative approach to concerns regarding patient safety and safe nursing practice. Throughout development, the parties focused on setting goals and parameters to keep the NAC process moving forward in a timely, positive and productive manner.

Our shared goals in developing a new collaborative process focused on ensuring patient safety concerns; providing an environment to meet professional standards and allow for safe practice; fostering quality care improvements; and supporting decision-making based on evidence informed, best practices.

The methodology and principles behind the new process place emphasis on administrative fairness; supporting a non-judgemental and non-punitive method to raise and address concerns; providing a means for open communication; and ensuring a respectfully and mutually beneficial relationship.

A key tool for success built into the new process, will be the ability for registered nurses and nursing managers to engage in low-level discussions and two-way communications to resolve issues in real time based on the needs and acuity levels of the patients.

Focused on removing barriers to success within the process, the parties have developed a clear and concise algorithm to guide both registered nurses and nursing managers through the entire process. In addition, a newly re-designed SUN Work Situation Report (WSR) form has been developed to capture additional information required to guide evidence based practice and to track on-going issues to allow for a more collaborative, consistent and system-wide approach to on-going issues.

Uniform application of the process will be vital to ensuring issues are addressed in a timely, effective and proactive manner. To ensure an evidence-informed practice continues to guide the process from start to finish, a newly developed Management WSR Information Form has been designed to guarantee that a consistent approach, province wide, is taken when addressing WSRs.

The Executive Oversight Committee will play a key role in addressing trending or reoccurring and larger systemic issues, as they offer an additional level of support and provide guidance on the development, implementation, monitoring and continued evaluation of the Joint NAC process.

New to the NAC Process, tracking trending issues is viewed as an effective and beneficial way for all parties to collect meaningful data, conduct proactive evidence-based planning and mitigate reoccurring issues. Unique or one-time occurrences resolved using low resolution approaches would not be considered trending issues and would not require a WSR to be completed. However, instances resolved through low level resolution yet reoccur at a predictable or high rate of frequency should be recorded on a WSR and marked as trending to be moved forward to the Executive Oversight Committee for review and recommendation.