In 1968, the Canadian Society of Extracorporeal Technicians (CANSECT) was formed and Letters Patent were granted by the Canadian government. From 1968 to 1974, CANSECT was composed of members involved in the fields of heart & lung perfusion and dialysis. These two different disciplines were linked by the common concept of extracorporeal circulation. In 1975, the differences between these two groups grew to outweigh the common purpose that brought them together. The two groups separated and the dialysis membership adopted the name, Canadian Society of Perfusionists (C.S.P.). In 1977, this group became the Canadian Society of Dialysis Perfusionists (CSDP) or the Societe canadienne des perfusionistes en dialyse. The goal of the Society was to share and improve the quality of extracorporeal technology.

In 1984, we again effected a name change to the Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses and Technicians (CANNT) or L’Association canadienne des infirmieres en techniciens de nephrologie. In 1996 the name was again changed to the Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses and Technologists. This name change reflects not only the growth and expansion that has occurred in our specialty, but emphasizes our increasing awareness of identity – who we are and what we do. We are nurses and technologists involved in the specialized care of nephrology patients. We care for patients during the entire continuum of end stage renal failure; during conservative management; throughout all modalities of dialytic intervention; during transplantation; during life and during death. We care for patients who require total care, limited care, and self care. We work in a variety of geographical locations, in hospitals, off-site facilities, satellite centres and in community centres. We care for patients and actively include family and others in the care process.

Our name change does provide significant insight into our changed perceptions of ourselves. Our initial interest was directed singly toward the new field for extracorporeal circulation. Today, we see hemodialysis as one modality of care; one part of the whole. We have shifted our emphasis to the concept of holistic patient care, while recognizing that the different modalities are an important aspect of the total plan of care. Our membership’s interests have expanded and kept pace with the changes in treatment concepts. The name changes reflect our evolving identity and are a constant reminder that we must not build barriers to the creative ideas upon which our continued growth is contingent.


The Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses and Technologists/L’Association Canadienne des Infirmieres et Technologues en Nephrologie (CANNT/ACITN) is a not-for-profit organization incorporated under the Government of Canada founded to promote excellence in nephrology care.


To provide leadership and promote the best nephrology care and practice through education, research, and communication.


CANNT as the keystone of excellence in nephrology nursing and technological care in Canada.


The officers of the Association are the President, President-Elect/Treasurer, Director of Communications. Together, these positions constitute the Executive.

The bylaw changes, effected in 1983-84, have allowed for administrative continuity which, for the first time facilitates the learning process for the President-Elect and the continuation of consistent policy and program development inherent in the position of Past-President. In effect, if we look at one member being elected by the membership for the position of President-Elect, that person will progress yearly from President-Elect to President. The member who allows his/her name to stand for nomination is making a three-year commitment to the Association in terms of time and professional commitment.

Four Vice-Presidents are elected to represent the CANNT regions of Canada – Western, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic. The term of office of Regional Vice-Presidents is two years. During their term they represent their region on the Board of Directors.

One Vice President of Technologists is elected to represent the interests of this sub-specialty within the Association.


The overall direction of the affairs and property of the Association is vested in the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors consists of the President, President-Elect/Treasurer, Director of Communications, four Regional Vice-Presidents and one Vice President of Technologists for a total of nine members.