Barb Crook will bring her passion for bedside nursing to her new role as chairwoman of the College of Registered Nurses of B.C.
"I'm looking forward to the position," she said in a telephone interview. "I like to give back to my profession and I like to keep the focus on the bedside at the board table."
Crook, a healthcare administrator for Northern Health in Mackenzie, took on her role as chairwomen first on a temporary basis in September and then in a permanent capacity earlier this month. Her term will run until September 2013.
One of a handful of nurses from rural communities on the board, Crook said she helps to inject a dose of what it's like in front line medicine to her board colleagues.
"I think it's important to have a rural lens because boards can become quite academic," she said. "We're the voice of grassroots nurses."
Crook has been involved with nursing groups throughout her career, first with the union and then beginning in 2003 with the college. She's been active in many committees over the past decade and decided to step up this year and let her name stand for nomination as chairwoman.
She believes the mandate of the college is important, both for patients and nurses alike.
"The college is here to protect the public," Crook said, pointing to its role in making sure nurses are trained and its handling of disciplinary matters.
She said the college is there both to support nurses if they don't meet the standard by helping them fulfill their requirements and to address any concerns members of the public put forth.
As chairwoman, Crook isn't involved directly in disciplinary matters, but she does help to oversee the broad direction of the organization. Among the items on her plate at the moment is the 100th anniversary of the organization and working on interagency meetings.
"I'm looking forward to supporting the transition to relational regulation," she said.
That transition includes having college officials meets more regularly with representatives from the British Columbia Nurses' Union and the Association of Registered Nurses of B.C. The three organizations all have different functions in the healthcare industry, but Crook said by working together they can be more efficient and effective. One of those meetings will take place in Prince George on Oct. 25.