The start of the oil boom increased urbanization and triggered an emphasis on education and achievement in Alberta. Women’s roles were changing and the opportunities for study and employment opened up. Membership in the AARN continued to increase and by 1965, there were 9,000 members. In 1960, the Department of Health conducted surveys to study the education requirements and personnel needed to operate current health-care services and what would be needed to expand services. The following year, recommendations from the nursing survey team were referred to the Minister of Health. Recommendations focused on training, increasing the supply of nurses, encouraging men to enter the profession, establishing a College of Nursing, developing new approaches to staffing, and training for orderlies.
"The employment relations officer was essentially a bargainer ... the person who spoke for the nurses who were being represented by the AARN, who sat at the bargaining table and dealt with individual employers like the health units or the hospitals in group bargaining like the hospital association."
- Yvonne Chapman
In 1973, a Supreme Court of Canada ruling decided that the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association could no longer assist or support associations that wanted to become collective bargaining agents. This set a precedent that required all professional nursing associations across Canada to restructure, establishing collective bargaining as a separate entity. After a decade of bargaining on behalf of the staff nurses association units, a bylaw proposed the collective bargaining program be independent of the AARN. In April 1977, the union for registered nurses, the United Nurses of Alberta was established with start-up funds of $15,000 from the AARN.
"The curricula of nursing were based upon the medical model: signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment and until the late 1960s, doctors gave many of the lectures."
- Glenna Gorrill