Successful Symposium

Displays by Cheryl Entwistle & Nan Martin Photo Credit for large Featured image: Cheryl Entwistle
Photo Credit: Kathy Murphy

The theme for the 5th Nursing History Symposium,  “In Search of Nursing’s History” , was held March 8, 2018 in the UBC Woodward Library. Speakers from the Library described the history of the collections, preserving nursing and health history in a time of digitalization and open collections, archival records, archiving networks of support, and records and collections on Nursing History in the UBC Archives. Helen Vandenberg, a former winner of a BC History of Nursing Scholarship, joined the gathering from Saskatchewan using current technology and presented a paper on digital collections from a user perspective.

Prior to lunch, participants did self-guided walking tours of displays at the entrance and  in the Woodward Memorial Library, the Mc Kechnie Room and the two BC History of Nursing Society displays in the Sherrington Room.

This  very successful event was planned by the panelists and BC History of Nursing members Geertje Boschma, Catherine Haney, Nan Martin, and Kathy Murphy.


Nursing History commemorated with Bench in Nova Scotia

A large group of nurses from the Nova Scotia Nursing History Society attended the massive public ceremonies in Halifax to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Halifax Explosion.  The Halifax Explosion, on December 6, 1917, resulted when a Norwegian vessel collided with a French cargo ship laden with high explosives.  The resulting fire ignited the cargo, causing a devastating explosion that killed at least 2,000 people from the blast, flying and fallen debris, onshore fires, and collapsed buildings, and an estimated 9,000 others were injured.  It was the world’s largest artificial explosion before advent of nuclear weapons in World War 2.

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Dedication of the military nurses plaque at the Regina Legislature

For Remembrance Day 2017, the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Parks Canada honoured Canada’s Military Nurses with a special plaque.  Impetus to honour all nurses who served with Canadian Forces from 1885 to the present began in 2010, when BCHNS member Hallie Sloan suggested we approach the federal government to ensure recognition of military nurses who had served in all wars.  As this was to be a national recognition, BCHNS approached the Canadian Association for the History of Nursing (CAHN) to make the submission, with support from BCHNS, CNA, and other agencies.

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Selkirk College Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Castlegar Selkirk College held their 50th anniversary [1966 – 2016]  last Fall.    It was a celebration of the College history and all programs.  A Book “Journeys Taken” by Takaia Larsen and Bob Hall was put together for the anniversary. The 2 year Nursing Program began in 1971. Many of the early Instructors retired & still live in the Castlegar area of which 2 are former BCHNS members & 1 currently,  Margaret Nicol, Kathleen Pinckney & Roberta Hamilton.  If interested in book, click on link below.

Congratulations Selkirk College!!


THEME:  “TRACING NURSES’ FOOTSTEPS: Nursing and the Tides of Change”


Due date for submission is DECEMBER 15, 2017

Where has nursing come from? What have been the ups and downs, trials and tribulations along the journey?  How have social, political and economic forces influenced the history of nursing? How were challenges met, and with passing or lasting impact? Who were the nurses that provided the foundation values and vision that established present realities, and challenges confronting nursing today? What can we take from history as it relates to the future expansion of the profession? The content of the abstract should reflect components of the program theme showing how, when and where nurses’ footsteps influenced the progressive changes in health care, policy, education and clinical practice. Abstracts on other subjects related to nursing and healthcare history would be welcomed and considered. Please submit a one page abstract (350 words max.) and a one page CV for consideration to: Dr. Margaret Scaia: [email protected]   Mailing Address: HSD A 442, School of Nursing, University of Victoria, PO Box 1700 STN CSC,  Victoria, British Columbia V8W 2Y2, Canada. For further information visit