The NANB and NBNU operate independently and have distinct responsibilities. Both groups, however, function with a similar structure:
- Each has a governing body to set policy.
- Each has office staff and committees made up of members to carry out the direction of the governing body.
- In both cases, the members themselves control the direction of the bodies by electing members to a board of directors.
The role of NANB is to:
- act as the licensing body for practicing nurses as mandated by the Nurses Act (1984) which outlines the areas for which the Association is responsible;
- insure that professional standards are met through a registration and renewal process and a complaints and discipline process;
- set standards for and approve schools of nursing;
- promote professional ethics;
- develop, establish, maintain and administer standards for its members in nursing practice education and continuing nursing education; and
- advocate for the welfare of the public and the profession.
The role of NBNU is to:
- advance, as a labour organization, the economic, social and general welfare of members and potential members;
- negotiate the best collective agreements achievable between nurses and the employer, as well as enforcing the agreement;
- achieving appropriate working conditions and promote high professional standards of practice so that nurses can provide the best attainable patient care;
- represent nurses, providing education and influencing legislation; and
- work, as needed, with NANB on various projects which further the position of nurses as a whole.