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Organization & Leadership

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CRNNS employs up to 30 individuals who have the shared objective to uphold the organization’s mandate of public protection in Nova Scotia. Along with the CEO, staff members operationalize the decisions made by an elected Council that help direct the programs and services offered to members on behalf of the public and the nursing profession.

CRNNS is organized in four main service areas:

  • Office of the CEO/Registrar
  • Policy, Practice and Legislation Services
  • Professional Conduct and Registration Services
  • Corporate Services

Our leadership team is made up of four highly-skilled and experienced individuals who share a vision for the future of nursing regulation that strengthens CRNNS’ commitment to protect the lives of Nova Scotians.

Related Resources

Staff Directory

Leadership Team

Sue Smith, Chief Executive Officer & Registrar

“Nursing has played a vital role in my life both personally and professionally and I strongly believe in the contributions the nursing profession has on the lives of others. To lead an organization that supports registered nurses to provide safe and quality nursing care to Nova Scotians is a not only privilege but a responsibility that I hold in the highest regard.”

Sue SmithA registered nurse for over three decades, Sue Smith has earned a wealth of experience throughout her career that has enabled her to genuinely understand the complexities of the healthcare system. Her endeavours have led her to greatly appreciate the challenges and the opportunities facing the nursing profession and the significant role health regulators play in public protection. No stranger to the provincial, national and international scene and always as a proud registered nurse, Sue is a visionary leader that is guiding CRNNS to serve and protect the public interest and preserve the integrity of the nursing profession in Nova Scotia.

Teri Crawford, Director Policy, Practice & Legislation Services

“Throughout my career, I have been touched and immeasurably changed by the experiences I’ve had with people at the most vulnerable times in their lives. The connections I have made with the registered nurses and nurse practitioners who provide care for these people is what has sustained my pride and passion for the profession of nursing. I have worked in many places with many committed registered nurses and I am very honoured that I now work with individuals who have the highest sense of professionalism and put the public and the nurses in Nova Scotia before themselves. I am proud to call myself a registered nurse.”

Teri CrawfordTeri has worked with CRNNS since 2004 and has a broad range of experience in nursing management, nursing education, policy development and research. In her previous role as CRNNS Policy Consultant a significant part of her portfolio was dedicated to providing practice and policy supports for nurse practitioners in Nova Scotia. As Director of the department, she works closely with government and other stakeholders to reduce barriers to RN and NP practice and leads a team that is committed to supporting CRNNS members to deliver safe and quality nursing care. Always a strong team player, Teri believes in empowerment, accountability and lifelong learning, which have all been foundational during her nursing career.

Heather Totton, Director Professional Conduct & Registration Services

“Nursing is consistently rated as one of the most trusted professions in Canada. I believe this public trust is earned by registered nurses through our commitment to self-regulate, which is where we demonstrate our accountability to all Nova Scotians. In my role with CRNNS, I am fortunate to see this commitment to the public on a daily basis. I am proud to be an RN and serve the public alongside all of our 10,000 members.”

Heather TottonA registered nurse since 1995, Heather has combined the art and science of nursing with a legal career. With nursing experience in both Canada and the United States, Heather honed her experience as a frontline nurse where she worked primarily in labour and delivery. Drawn to the legal profession as well, Heather added law school to her resume and has worked as a lawyer in the areas of labour and employment, human rights and professional regulation. With over eight years of experience working in professional regulation in various capacities including defending regulated professionals, acting as legal counsel for the regulator, speaking on various aspects of regulation at conferences, guest lecturing at the Dalhousie School of Nursing and volunteering her time with various committees with the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Nurse Protective Society, Heather has shown an ongoing commitment to serving the public, the nursing profession and to excellence in all that she does.

Colleen Arnold, Director Corporate Services

“We’ve all had mentors along the way that helped to shape us professionally. I can remember one person in my life that sparked the turn in my career path. There is nothing more rewarding than paying it forward and helping others believe that they can achieve professional goals that strengthen CRNNS and add value for our stakeholders.”

Colleen ArnoldA Chartered Professional Accountant (CMA) and Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR), Colleen has brought a range of professional expertise to CRNNS since 2000. She serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Privacy Officer and leads CRNNS’ financial, human resources, information technology, records management and facilities management services. A passion for life-long learning, Colleen gets her greatest joy supporting staff to develop and achieve their career goals that strengthen CRNNS and our mandate.