The work of the Nursing Observatory is currently centered around the theme of whistleblowing. Whistleblowing remains a topical subject that particularly affects the nursing profession. Few nurses dare to denounce shortcomings in their workplaces, and those who do continue to experience serious consequences such as harassment, ostracism, threats, and loss of employment. Yet, whistleblowing is widely recognized as the symptom of flaws within a system that fails to meet its social, moral and legal obligations. In the health care context, these flaws can have serious consequences for patient safety and the safety of care givers, quality of care, and the integrity of work environments.
In Canada, many discussions have focused, in a limited way, on whistleblowing cases involving government employees. Despite these discussions, despite the need to broaden the debate to all categories of workers, and despite numerous calls to implement strong legal safeguards to protect whistleblowers, such measures remain uneven, insufficient or completely absent across provinces. For nurses, these measures are indispensable to denounce issues such as unsafe care, violence in the workplace, or even fraud.
In the absence of clear and comprehensive protections, many gray zones remain where whistleblowing is concerned. Through this thematic dossier, the Nursing Observatory will examine this issue from the perspective of nurses with the assistance of many collaborators and via various activities that promote analysis and exchange.