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Forming a Specialty Interest Group for Registered Nurses (RNs)

What is a Specialty Interest Group?

A specialty interest group is a group of registered nurses and/or members of other health disciplines with similar clinical expertise or shared interests, that come together to form a group to enhance health care through their activities. The group needs to include a majority of RNs in its membership to be deemed a Specialty Interest Group for Registered Nurses. Scroll down for a full list of specialty interest groups supporting nursing practice in Nova Scotia.

What are the benefits of forming a Specialty Interest Group?

A specialty interest group provides a great opportunity for nurses to:

  • Share their passion for nursing around a specialty area or common interest
  • Link with other nurses from across Nova Scotia
  • Create and share professional development opportunities
  • Link with national nursing groups who could support the local group
  • Form a collective voice
  • Provide support to nurses with similar interests or facing common challenges.

How can the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia (CRNNS) help?

CRNNS is happy to support specialty interest groups by providing information around how to form a specialty interest group and once certain requirements have been met, post the group’s information on the CRNNS’ specialty interest group website.

How would I set up a Specialty Interest Group?

Below are a set of suggested steps to establishing a specialty interest group.

  1. Determine if a national specialty interest group exists and if so collaborate with this group.
  2. Ensure there isn’t currently a provincial group. If there is, link with the group to explore ways you could work together rather than starting a separate group.
  3. Gather evidence to demonstrate the need and member interest for the group. For example, talk to your coworkers and/or host a meeting to determine the level of interest.
  4. Outline the goals of the group with interested members.
  5. Develop the bylaws/constitution. It may be helpful to contact existing groups to review their examples before developing your own.
  6. Once you have a group of approved members, hold a meeting to approve the bylaws/ constitution and to elect the group’s executive.
  7. Determine how you generate startup funds. For example, many groups charge a membership fee to do this.
  8. Contact the Registry of Joint Stock Companies to determine the requirements and to register the name of your group to protect the group’s name.
  9. Contact CRNNS to have your group added to CRNNS’ Specialty Interest Group webpage.
  10. Start to build interest in others by carrying out the work of your group.

If you have any questions, please contact a Practice Consultant at CRNNS at

Association of Nova Scotia Peri-Anesthesia Nurses

Canadian Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses

Mary Stairs
Atlantic Provinces Representative

Canadian Association of Critical Care Nurses

Amber Eason

Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses and Technologists

Cathy Cake
Vice President Atlantic

Canadian Association of Neuroscience Nurses

Joan Pacione
Provincial Councillor for NS

Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology

Canadian Orthopaedic Nurses Association

Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses

Jackie Frew
Provincial Director

Community Health Nurses of Canada

Ellen O’Brien RN, BScN, CCHN(C)
Nova Scotia Representative

Family Practice Nurses Association of Nova Scotia

Jill Morse
Membership Secretary

Infection Prevention and Control Canada

Mental Health and Addictions Nurses of Nova Scotia MHANNS

Past President: Jane Hughes
Cell: 902-452-2414

President Position: Vacant

Treasurer: Christine Green
IWK Mental Health Psychiatric Emergency
Cell: 902-221-2726

Secretary: Jeannine Corkery
Staff Nurse – IWK Garron Centre
Cell: 902-220-0769

Program Coordinator: Vacant

Member at Large around the province:

Nova Scotia Emergency Nurses Association

Mary Spinney
Provincial Director

Nova Scotia Gerontological Nurses Association

Nova Scotia Nursing Informatics Group

Mary Eileen MacPhail

Canadian Nursing Informatics Association

Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Nova Scotia

Carolyn Mitchell

Tracey Lake

Nursing History Nova Scotia Society

Gloria Stephens

Occupational Health Nurses Association of Nova Scotia

Brenda Marsh and Heather Wilson

Operating Room Nurses Association of Nova Scotia

Cindy Fulmore

Tanya Vandale

Operating Room Nurses Association of Canada

Urology Nurses of Canada

Emmi Champion RN NCA
Vice President East
Urology Nurses of Canada