Community Health Nurses
Group of the RNABC (1978-2003)

Administrative History

Immunization Clinic

The Community Health Nurses Group of the RNABC (Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia) was established in 1979. The need for such a group had been identified in the spring of 1978, when the Public Health Nursing Council (PHNC) was disbanded. Some of the nurses from the PHNC came together with the goal of establishing a new group to provide a united professional voice for community nurses and their interests.

After much discussion, it was decided to pursue interest group status in the RNABC, rather than membership in the Canadian Public Health Association. On September 6, 1978, an organizational meeting was held, and “Community Nurses’ Interest Group” was chosen as the name of the proposed group. A presentation was made by the group to the RNABC Board of Directors one week later, and on September 29 permission was granted for the formation of the Community Nurses’ Interest Group.

Home Baby Visit

The major objectives of the group were to promote professional growth among nurses; to contribute to continuing education for community health nurses; and to facilitate communication among members and between community health nurses and the RNABC. The group, under the name Community Health Nurses’ Interest Group, (CHNIG), was not officially established until November 1979, when its bylaws were approved by the RNABC’s Board of Directors.

The Group’s first president was Joey Williams. Membership in the group was made available to all RNABC members engaged or interested in community health nursing. As the Group’s membership grew, regional groups were established throughout British Columbia. In 1987, the Group was involved in the formation of the Community Health Nurses’ Association of Canada (CHNAC).

The CHNIG changed its name to the Community Health Nurses’ Group (CHNG) of the RNABC in 1990. The Group applied to the RNABC for dissolution in 2004.

The following members served as Presidents of the CHNIG/CHNG: Joey Williams (1979-1983); Joan Gallacher (1983-1985); Nora Whyte (1986-1988); Gail Beddome (1989-1991); Diane Harding (1992-1993); Ray Thompson (1993-1995); Cindy Fox (1996-1997); Tamara Olson (1998-1999); and Shirley Sterlinger (2000-2004).

Scope and content

Fonds consists of seven boxes of records pertaining to the formation, organization, functions, and activities of the Community Health Nurses’ Group, dating from 1978 to 2003. Records of the Executive Committee document activities from 1981 to 1999. Other committee records include those of education, membership, newsletter, planning and public relations.

Some documentation of relationships with regional groups in BC is included, as well as more extensive records of relationships with the RNABC and CHNAC. Papers, pamphlets, surveys and projects records discuss such subjects as the role of the community health nurse. Programs, notes and informational material relate to conferences and workshops hosted or attended by the Community Health Nurses’ Group. Other reports, papers and newspaper clippings relate to community and public health nursing in general.

A number of photographs depict community health nursing activities.

No restrictions apply.
A finding aid is available.