Mr. Chairman, before the preamble is adopted, I wish to make a few observations in regard to this Bill somewhat on the lines of the observations I made here the other evening. I hold the same views in regard to the objection to a group of nurses, or an association of this kind, securing incorporation for the purpose of enabling them to submit to re-examination their sisters in the profession throughout the Dominion of Canada. In regard to an examination as to competency, I would submit that if these ladies themselves could show a certificate of competency beyond the ordinary, there might be some reason in their thus expecting to constitute themselves a committee to investigate the professional competency of their sisters. All that they seem to think necessary for this is to name one here and there, throughout the Dominion, and to have them constituted into an association. This association professes to seek at the hands of parliament powers which it would really be unfair to confer upon them as compared with other ladies throughout the Dominion of Canada equally competent. As I said here the other evening, I say now, that no training school for nurses, recognized as such, in the United States or Canada would allow a nurse to go forth to practise her profession from its institution without a certificate of competency. The curriculum provides that two years must be devoted to the study of the various branches of knowledge required in the nursing profession. I think still that the bodies in charge of these recognized training schools of nurses, or in charge of respectable hospitals throughout the country, are really the very best authorities to judge as to the competency of a successful trained nurse. The qualifications for a competent trained nurse are quite different in many respects from those which would be necessary in a successful medical practitioner. A knowledge of the various branches of the science of medicine and of surgery would be necessary to the medical practitioner and to the surgeon, whereas there are a great many other qualifications that would be infinitely more advantageous to be possessed by the trained nurse than a knowledge of all these branches of science. Good health would be one of the prime necessities in a successful nurse. It cannot be expected that all the nurses that would come before this association, or before a board of medical examiners, in the various provinces of the Dominion, would possess this prime requisite. Suppose a sickly nurse should come before this board and know anatomy and physiology and all these other branches that she would be examined upon, thoroughly, it would not indicate her competency. One week's night vigil might render her thoroughly inefficient and incompetent to perform successful nursing in a case of a patient perhaps weeks on a sick-bed. Where is the ordinary practitioner to look for such a nurse, or how is this board, the members of which are strangers to these nurses, to take a matter of this kind into consideration? I say again that the only body which should be considered as competent to pass upon the various qualities which would constitute a successful nurse is the body with which that nurse has served a two year's course of training. While I have no objection to an association of this character being formed, I do object to its being vested with powers which would make it dangerous for the success of sister nurses throughout the Dominion, perhaps equally, if not more capable
than the members of this association to fulfil the duties necessary in the successful carrying out of their calling. While I have no objection to these ladies being formed into an association of this character, I do object to the clause which enables them to submit their sisters of the profession throughout the Dominion to an examination in the various branches. I, therefore, in order to allow this House and the members of the profession throughout the Dominion of Canada to properly consider a measure of this character, beg to move that this Bill be read this day, six months.