Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 35(3) September 2022 : 32-47.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2022.27004
Nursing Research

Hindsight Is 2020: A Graduate Student Perspective

Deanne Curnew, Ahmad Deeb, Savannah Isaacs, Rebecca Puddester and Crystal Vaughan


The year 2020 was unpredictable and brought about unimaginable change for our world, disrupting operations within the nursing profession and healthcare systems at large. In this discussion paper, we revisit a report from the Canadian Nurses Association, Toward 2020: Visions for Nursing (Villeneuve and MacDonald 2006), from a graduate student perspective. In this 2006 report, the authors presented a series of predictions for the preferred future of nursing in Canada in 2020. Even without the pandemic, the pre-existing trends in healthcare and nursing did not favour success for the visions presented in this national nursing report. Now, two years after 2020, we examine the extent to which these predictions held true in the following areas: health systems, nursing practice, nursing workforce, nursing education and nursing regulation. We conclude that most of the preferred scenarios were unmet or partially met, and argue that it is critical to enact relevant preferred scenarios now. While the deleterious effects of the pandemic will be felt by the nursing profession for years, these experiences did not hinder our collective ability to lead change in Canada. We offer insights to provide recommendations for nursing actions toward a healthier future for Canadians. The best of nursing in Canada is within sight.



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