June 16, 2008 16:25 ET

Canadian Nurses Association Celebrating 100 Years of Leadership

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 16, 2008) - Canada Post today issued a domestic rate (52 cents) stamp celebrating the centennial of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA). The CNA is a federation of 11 provincial and territorial nurses' associations and colleges representing more than 133,700 registered nurses and nurse practitioners. They are the national professional voice of registered nurses, supporting them in their practice and advocating for healthy public policy and a quality, publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

"We stand today upon attainments of our predecessors, and our gathering here is proof that we realize how much yet remains to be accomplished. We are living not for the present only."

Mary Agnes Snively, first president of the CNA (1895).

The nursing history in Canada is vast. Official records date back to 1737 with The Sisters of Charity of the Hopital General de Montreal (Grey Nuns). In 1897, Lady Aberdeen, wife of Governor General Lord Aberdeen, set up the national, non-profit organization called The Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) wanting to close the gap between the nursing care of the rich and poor. Nursing programs were established in the early twentieth century with disease prevention and public health education as their focus. But it was in 1908 that representatives from all the organized nursing bodies in Canada were invited to meet in Ottawa to discuss uniting as a national association. Several associations attended and formed the provisional society of the Canadian National Association of Trained Nurses, now called the CNA.

The war years showed the world what it meant to be a nurse. By serving in a professional capacity in a typically male environment, nurses demonstrated their ability to solve complex problems under pressure. Over 3,000 nurses served in World War I.

"Nurses are often the first person to see to a patient and, at the end of the day, the last one to check in on them", says Liz Wong, Stamp Design and Production at Canada Post, "and portraying that warmth and caring characteristic was our inspiration."

Designed by Doreen Colonello of Gottschalk+Ash International, this stamp draws its design concept from the torch and light logo of the Canadian Nurses Association. "I kept thinking about how I would like to be treated when I am sick and I kept coming back to the warmth and light, the comfort that nurses offer." Because of the wide range of duties performed by nurses as well as the various domains in which nurses work including, clinical, research, administration, research and education, the choice of image for the stamp was also a challenge for Colonello. "I tried different images and representations of nurses at work but finally decided that a nurse with a medical tray would be most recognizable because over 50 per cent of the nursing profession works in hospitals," said Ms. Colonello.

The 52-cent stamp measures 30.75 x 30.75 (square) with simulated perforations. Canadian Bank Note printed 2.5 million stamps which will be sold in booklets of 10 stamps. The pressure sensitive stamps will be printed on Tullis Russel paper using lithography in seven colours. They are general tagged on all sides and the Official First Day Cover will read OTTAWA ON.

Additional information about Canadian stamps can be found in the Newsroom section of Canada Post's website, and photos of these new stamps are in the Newsroom's Photo Centre. Stamps and Official First Day Covers will be available at participating post offices, or can be ordered online by following the links at Canada Post's website, or by mail order from the National Philatelic Centre. From Canada and the USA, call toll-free: 1 800 565-4362, and from other countries, call: 902 863-6550.

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