Separation of the College and Association

Protecting the public, image of a girl and woman with a nurse


On August 19, 2020, the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) Council voted in favor of separating CARNA’s dual mandates. The College’s single mandate will focus on setting regulatory standards for registered nurses.  

Council’s decision pre-empted the Provincial Government’s Bill 46 announcement on December 9, 2020, that was passed by the Legislative Assembly with exceptions.  

CARNA Council also approved: 

  • The name College of Registered Nurses of Alberta as the new name of the Alberta Registered Nurses Regulatory Authority. 

  • The College move to support the development and growth of an independent registered nurses association. 

Where We Are Now

While serving a dual mandate, CARNA consistently focused on the principles of Right-touch regulation to inform our regulatory decisions and actions. Right-touch regulation is a proven methodology developed by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care in the UK and is founded on six main principles. These principles are stated as:   

  1. Proportionate: Regulators should only intervene when necessary. Remedies should be appropriate to the risk posed, and costs identified and minimised. 

  1. Consistent: Rules and standards must be joined up and implemented fairly. 

  1. Targeted: Regulation should be focused on the problem and minimise side effects. 

  1. Transparent: Regulators should be open and keep regulations simple and user-friendly. 

  1. Accountable: Regulators must be able to justify decisions and be subject to public scrutiny. 

  1. Agile: Regulation must look forward and be able to adapt to anticipate change. 

As the College accountability shifts wholly to being a regulatory body, we continue to use Right-touch regulation and our commitment to these principles remains unchanged. 

Our Commitment to Transparency

CARNA acknowledges the importance of transparency as we evolve to being an independent College and an independent Association. We are committed to sharing information, providing answers, and facilitating feedback with our membership, the public and our stakeholders. 

Council, Administration and Membership will work together in a collaborative and respectful manner to achieve the ultimate goals of: 

  • A College that fulfils the mandate of public protection. 

  • An independent Registered Nurses Association that is founded in good governance and is able to provide its membership with all the products, programs, and services that they have come to expect from a strong Association.  

Update: A new name has been established for the association and it is the Alberta Association of Nurses (AAN). If you have any questions about the AAN, please contact Vice President, Margaret Edwards, at


We are conducting a review of all our processes and expect that our full transition will take approximately two years to complete which brings us to the end of 2022. We will provide updates on a regular basis. 

What's next?

In early January 2022, we will announce a new brand including a new name, a new website and a new registrant portal. 

We welcome your questions as we move forward in this work and are committed to being transparent throughout this process.  



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