Celebrating Nurses in 2024

Many thanks to BCHNS member Brenda Flynn who alerted us to this interesting article from the May 9, Merritt Herald, Merritt nurses on the front line of Spanish Flu. Cameron Bridge, Manager of the Nicola Valley Museum & Archives, tells of the impact of the flu in the community with a focus on the many nurses who gave care to those stricken by the disease. To read the full article click here.

In April the Florence Nightingale Museum decided to spotlight a personal object actually belonging to Miss Nightingale. This personalized ivory carriage pass is located within the museum and was a gift to Florence Nightingale from Queen Victoria in the 19th century. To read more click here.


Kathleen Louisa Lee, a registered nurse, dedicated nearly four decades of her life to the residents of North Vancouver. Born and raised in Langley, she received her education at Toronto Western Hospital, graduating around 1920. Her journey of service began at the first North Vancouver General Hospital, where she cared for patients. Later, she continued her impactful work at both locations of the NVGH.

Kathleen’s unwavering commitment to the public led to her promotion as the head matron at the second hospital, a position she held from 1934 to 1960. In this role, she skillfully directed all nurses within the hospital, ensuring the well-being of patients and overseeing their care. She died in 1973 and is buried in the family plot in Murrayville cemetery in Langley BC.

Sources: Photograph  NVMA, 11005,  Museum of North Vancouver (MONVA)

North Shore News March 3, 2024

Florence Nightingale’s Wheelchair finds a new home

The customised wheelchair used by Florence Nightingale in the years following her return from the Crimean War has gone on public display in the UK for the first time. It is now part of a new permanent display at the Florence Nightingale Museum.

The early 20th century mahogany and iron chair, with red and tan floral brocade seat cover, was used by Florence Nightingale in her Mayfair home as she fought her own chronic illness. Despite the challenge of ongoing disability, Nightingale campaigned to transform healthcare and inspired generations of nurses across the world in ways that continue today.

To read more about how this gift happened click on the picture below.

Nightingale’s Wheelchair

A Sneak-peak……..

The sequel to Marion Crook’s bestselling and award-winning memoir, Always Pack a Candle,

is coming out on April 2, 2024.


In Always On Call: Adventures in Nursing, Ranching, and Rural Living intrepid public health nurse Marion Crook juggles marriage, children, and a vast array of patients and cases in rural British Columbia in the 1970s.

It has been over a decade since Marion arrived in the Cariboo for her first job out of nursing school. The vast rural territory that once left her awestruck now feels like home, as she embraces life on the ranch with her husband, Carl, three young children, and numerous farm animals. Recounted with warmth, compassion, and riveting detail,  Always On Call is a fascinating portrait of the hectic life of a rural nurse and highlights the importance of the helping professions.

Look for more details about the sequel in the Spring 2024 BCHNS newsletter.

Many thanks to Heritage House Publishing  for the heads-up information!


Save the Date: 55th Marion Woodward Lecture


Thursday, October 26, 2023
In-Person & Online

  • VIFF Vancity Theatre | 1181 Seymour Street | Downtown Vancouver

The Mr. and Mrs. P.A. Woodward Foundation has generously supported the annual Marion Woodward Lecture since 1969. 



DINNER & DIALOGUE (6-7PM): In-person only


The purpose of this talk is to speculate, question, and provoke discussion about care work and nursing’s commitments at a time when big data and A.I. are rapidly escalating against the backdrop of a global pandemic, structural oppressions and a climate emergency. Drawing on principles of design justice, data feminism, community accountability and consentful tech, we critically examine how we arrived at this moment, then turn to imagine new and more liberatory futures for care – of each other, our communities, and our digital bodies.

BIO: Dr. Rae Walker (they/them) is an Associate Professor, Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and the only nurse Invention Ambassador for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They direct the Nursing PhD Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and co-founded Health Tech for the People, a multidisciplinary research group focused on tech ethics and accountable design. Following service in the U.S. Peace Corps, they completed their nursing training, PhD, Certificates in Nursing Education and Health Inequities, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. They teach courses on data narratives, measurement, and power, and their scholarship focuses on community-directed health innovation and digital defense against technologies and data regimes that cause harm. In 2021 they were awarded UMass Amherst’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Their advocacy for nurse-led innovation, design justice and more inclusive invention ecosystems has been featured on podcasts, the TEDx stage, and in magazines such as Forbes, Scientific American, Science and on NPR.



BCHNS member Sally Thorne is appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada

Dr. Sally Thorne, a professor in UBC School of Nursing, and associate dean of faculty affairs within the Faculty of Applied Science, has been appointed Member of the Order of Canada.

This honour recognizes Dr. Thorne’s extensive contributions to the practice and discipline of nursing as a researcher, academic and leader. It was announced by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada.

“Dr. Thorne is visionary in her efforts to further the contributions of nursing to the best possible care of Canadians,” said Dr. James Olson, Dean, UBC Faculty of Applied Science.

“She is an inspirational leader and generous mentor to many in the nursing profession and beyond, and her accomplishments in research, healthcare delivery, and leadership are exceptional, not only in Canada but also internationally. I know of no other Canadian more deserving of this honour.”

Dr. Thorne became a Member of the Order of Canada on June 30 — her last day of full service at UBC before retirement. She plans to continue her research, graduate supervision, and voluntary professional activities as a professor emeritus.

To read more about Dr. Thorne’s career click click here.

A Well-Deserved Award

In June 2023 Elaine A. Carty, MSN CNM was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. In British Columbia Elaine is known as “the midwife of midwifery “. She helped to promote legalization and professional recognition of midwifery not only in this province but throughout Canada.

You are a history maker Elaine! We are all very proud of your accomplishments over the years and send our sincere congratulations to you from the BC History of Nursing Society!

To read more about Elaine’s Award and career click here.