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A Message of Appreciation and Care During COVID-19

Dear Gerontological Nurse Colleagues,

We are sending you a message of appreciation, commendation and care. You are dedicated healthcare providers, struggling like everyone else to adjust to the changes and uncertainty in the healthcare system brought about by the COVID-19 crisis. It is clear that as you continue to adapt to the conditions of this crisis, you must also look after yourselves so that your ability to contribute sustains over time. Many of you are emergency or essential workers: thus, it is important that you reserve and direct your energies and support yourselves to meet your personal and family needs as a top priority. How can you enact this if you are re-deployed to new practice areas, are applying PPE techniques with little equipment, working much longer hours than usual, stepping away from retirement to enter the workplace again or living in quarantine due to family or personal illness? Here are some things you can put into place, and know that you are part of a large family of specialty nurses who are in this alongside you:

  1. Make a plan to connect daily or twice daily with your family, friends and social group using telephone, Skype, Face-Time, Facebook or Zoom;
  2. Keep hydrated and nourished;
  3. Cut out the noise: Choose one reliable source of news and updates and access this for updates daily or twice daily. It okay to ignore posted messages from celebrity social media that are not helpful to your well-being;
  4. Set aside those projects and assignments that you can negotiate to defer until a later date;
  5. Let go of perfection and preoccupations with what you think you should be doing right now;
  6. Do something once daily that keeps you fit, even five minutes of stretching, deep breathing or mindfulness can help mitigate your stress. Try online yoga or a relaxation app on your phone, some are as short as 5 minutes (see links to three options below);
  7. Keep a journal record of your experiences;
  8. Remember that you are not alone. Send out positive vibes to your Gerontological Nursing colleagues, particularly those working and living within Canada's epicentres of COVID-19 spread. There is evidence that "collective" brain messaging does work, from research into prayer chains and spiritual care support networks for cancer survivors. We can help each other survive this experience.

Follow the links below if you would like to review useful mindfulness exercises. The mindfulness guided exercises were produced for two community-based projects: CHAMPs-In-Action to reduce HIV stigma and promote collective resilience; and WE-CARE (Women Empowerment - Caregiver Acceptance & Resilience E-Learning) Intervention study to reduce mental health stress and promote wellbeing of temporary foreign workers. These projects are led by Dr. Kenneth P. Fung (AIM Clinic, University Health Network, Toronto); Dr. Alan T. Li (Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment, Regent Park Community Health Centre, Toronto); Professor Mandana Vahabi and Professor Josephine P. Wong (Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Ryerson University, Toronto).  Special appreciation and gratitude to Krisel Abulencia, RN, MN, who did the audio recording.

You, your family and your friends may find these useful. The research findings indicate that these are effective in reducing stress and promoting resilience. 

Mindfulness Practice #1 - Grounding Exercise https://youtu.be/kLdPRq1vX4Q

This a grounding exercise that help us to connect to the present time and with letting go of thoughts.

Mindfulness Practice #2 - Clouds in the Sky https://youtu.be/JyFqi6e9ZgY

This defusion helps us to develop skills in observing our thoughts and emotions (worries, anxiety, fear) and recognize them as what they are — thoughts, feelings and emotion, nothing more, nothing less. This is very helpful in reducing worries and anxiety.

Mindfulness Practice #3 - Loving-Kindness https://youtu.be/xGn_8TsZvn4

The practice of loving-kindness during our current crisis situation may promote our psychological resilience.

Feel free to pass them onto your networks.

There will be a day when the COVID-19 pandemic is over. On behalf of all CGNA board members who represent gerontological nurses across our country, we extend to you our heartfelt support as you experience your personal and professional journeys during this time. We are sending you a collective positive brain vibe to support you to come to terms with an emergent world that has already changed. Be strong as you travel through and manage stress and grief. We are all learning new ways to move, build, learn, connect and provide healthcare. We will grow further and flourish as a result. 

Yours in Gerontological Nursing,

Lori Schindel Martin, RN, PhD, GNC (C), CGNA President, GNAO
Mollie Cole, RN, MN, GNC (C), CGNA Past-President, AGNA
Elaine Campbell, RN, MN, GNC (C), CGNA President-Elect, PEIGNA
Julie Rubel, RN, MScN, GNC (C), CGNA Director of Communication, GNAO
Lillian Hung, RN, PhD, GNC (C), CGNA Director of Education, GNABC
Michelle Heyer, RN, MN, GNC (C), CGNA Treasurer, GNAO
Joyce Taekema, RN, MN, GNC (C), CGNA Secretary, GNABC

The Canadian Gerontological Nursing Association is excited to announce a series of webinars to help prepare for Gerontological Nursing Certification.

Beginning September 5, 2019 and running every Thursday for 9 weeks, the sessions are one hour in length and will include both content review and practice questions.

The per session cost is $20 for CGNA members and $30 for non-members.

CGNA members also receive access to archived webinars, housed in the ‘Members Only’ section of the CGNA website.  As a CGNA member, you also have access to a 20% discount voucher for writing a CNA certification exam or renewing certification.

Webinar sessions are open to all CGNA members, with a special welcome to PN members writing in the inaugural cycle for CNA PN Certification!

Please share this information with your colleagues!  If you are not already a member, join CGNA and save on the certification webinars, along with other member benefits, including the 20% discount voucher for writing a CNA certification exam!

For more information and to register, please visit:



Canadian Gerontological Nursing Association

E-mail: office@cgna.net
Web: http://cgna.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanadianGerontologicalNursingAssociation
Twitter: http://twitter.com/cgna_ca

Save the Dates!


21st Biennial Conference of the
Canadian Gerontological Nursing Association


April 22-24, 2021
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Call for Abstracts Coming Soon!


Preliminary Program
April 22, 2021 | Pre-Conference Events
April 23-24, 2021 | CGNA2021 Conference


Showcase your organization to leaders in gerontological nursing!

CGNA2021 offers numerous sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities to profile your organization and its resources to leaders in gerontological nursing.  For more information, please contact us!






Perspectives 39(3) Now Available!

The latest issue of Perspectives journal is now available through the members portal (please note, you'll need to log into the portal for access; if you don't remember your password, use the "Forgot Password" link).  

  • Challenges in self-management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in a rural community of Eastern Canada
  • Thoughts on the need for managers' and nurses' leadership to improve prevention and management of delirium in critical care
  • Student research assistant positions: A great way to learn about gerontological nursing!

Click here to view the latest issue!