May 9-15, 2022: The National Nursing Week annual celebrations take place from the Monday to the Sunday of the same week as Florence Nightingale’s birthday, May 12.

In 1971, ICN designated May 12, the birthday of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, as International Nurses Day. In 1985, CNA members passed a resolution to begin negotiations with the federal government to have the week containing May 12 proclaimed as National Nurses Week annually. Soon after, the federal minister of health proclaimed the second week of May as National Nurses Week. In 1993, the name was changed to National Nursing Week to emphasize the profession’s accomplishments as a discipline.

The theme this year is #WeAnswerTheCall and was developed by CNA to highlight the many roles that nurses play in a patient’s health-care journey. The pandemic brought to light the courage and commitment that nurses work under every day and showed the significant role that nurses play in the community. This year, Johnson and Johnson, the world’s largest and most broadly-based health-care company, has sponsored National Nursing Week to showcase its commitment to the well-being of Canada’s health-care professionals.

(From National Nursing Week 2022- Canadian Nurses Association)

Celebrating Four Decades of Advocacy


In the 2021 Summer/Fall Issue of Update Magazine the British Columbia Nurses Union (BCNU) marks its 40th year with a retrospective account of nurses’ fight for safe patient care and fair working conditions. This complete and well-illustrated article with contributions from many of the union’s nursing leaders traces the accomplishments and struggles experienced by the organization and its members during past decades.

You can read the complete article here.


For Your Winter Reading……

This is a delightful read with an intriguing title!

ALWAYS PACK a CANDLE  by nurse author Marion McKinnon Crook is the story of Marion’s nursing experience and adventures in the Cariboo-Chilcotin area of British Columbia in the 1960’s. Published by Heritage House in April 2021 the book has been on the BC Best Sellers List for months, currently occupying ninth position.

I purchased a hard copy and thoroughly enjoyed this true story of an intrepid nurse who ventured out into the vast wilds of British Columbia providing health care in rural communities. The book is also available as an e-book.

To read more about this nurse author, her career, and other publications visit

To read an excerpt from the book go to  You will be glad you did!

In the Shadow of Historiography : Toward Another History of Healthcare

Annual Meeting of CAHN University of Ottawa 9th-11th June 2022

The history of healthcare was for a long time devoted only to the history of doctors and their inventions and theories. It was not until the 1970s that a history of health emerged that at first focused on other caregivers, professional or not, then on patients and others, and finally, at the beginning of the 21st century, it took in all the rest that had been forgotten.  Thus it is only recently that a number of actors in the healthcare field have taken their legitimate place in the historiography.  And the work is still far from being completed.

Many areas needing more investigation are those of women, racialized and indigenous peoples, non-orthodox caregivers, people suffering from physical or psychiatric ailments, and others who have not found their rightful place in the history of healthcare. The history of nursing is particularly representative of this gap in the historiography. Long centred on prominent figures in nursing such as Jeanne Mance, Florence Nightingale, Mary Agnes Snively or Léonie Chaptal, it is now opening up to critiquing these illustrious figures as well as including others in nursing who have until now been ignored, purposefully or not.

It is within this context of historiographic revitalization, which takes in the history of nursing but which also includes the wider history of health – an area of research that is itself more inclusive and interdisciplinary ‒ that we wish to call for submissions for the next annual meeting of the Canadian Association for the History of Nursing. We are inviting therefore all researchers, whatever their primary field of study, who are interested in a fresh look at the history of healthcare through exploring uncharted territory or using unexpected approaches, to submit a proposal. The aim is to support novel research in the history of nursing and the history of health more broadly by inviting the exploration and development of new avenues, approaches, and methods, as well as bringing to light the voices of those who have been silenced until now.

In short, at this meeting that is interdisciplinary and open to all, we hope to delve into the shadow of historiography of healthcare to bring justice to those who in the past have contributed so much to the support, health, or simply the comfort of the suffering and the vulnerable.

The proposals, which should contain a title, an abstract of a maximum of 500 words, and a short biography of the authors, should be submitted to before 31 December 2021.

 Note that communications could be done in person or by videoconference.

Honouring long time member NINA RUMEN



Photo credit: BCHNS

Nina Rumen graduated from St Paul’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1949. She joined the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps in 1951. Her military career took her to Churchill, Manitoba (1952-54) when Canada’s north was opening. From there she went to Isherholm, Germany with the British Army of the Rhine, then to Lahr, Germany. She served with NATO from 1970-72.  Nina also was loyal to her military nursing community, actively ensuring that military nursing, in BC and beyond, was honoured and preserved.

Nina always loved a challenge and would battle for what she believed was right, no matter what the odds. She was always the kind of nurse who was proud of her profession and who assisted the BCHNS to achieve its goals of which she was a founding member and now has Honourary Membership.

Photo credit: BCHNS
Nina Rumen 89th Birthday
Photo Credit: BCHNS
Photo Credit: With Permission by Family

Nina now lives in a Care Facility and has just had her 94th Birthday. Due to Pandemic restrictions, it has been difficult to visit her, but BCHNS member, Sheila Oxholm has been sending cards & visiting with flowers when permitted and reading our BCHNS newsletters to her.

To read more about Nina look under Membership – Honourary Membership[1]Nina Rumen

Jessie Mantle Passes 1932-2021

Jessie Mantle was born in Chemainus and received her diploma in nursing in 1950 from the Royal Jubilee Hospital School of Nursing in Victoria. Her professional nursing career spanned 40 years and her educational accomplishments included a BSN from McGill in 1966, a master’s degree in nursing from University of San Francisco and post-degree work in gerontological nursing which became her focus during the latter part of her career. Cited as “one of the pioneers of geriatric nursing in Canada” (Ebersole and Touhy: Springer Publishing, 2006), her passion was to make the care and quality of life better for those in their senior years.

In 1981 Jessie took a joint appointment as Professor at the University of Victoria School of Nursing and Clinical Nurse Specialist at Juan de Fuca Hospitals. As a gifted teacher, author and practicing nurse Jessie Mantle inspired and mentored generations of nurses who became leaders in the care of the elderly.

The Jessie Mantle Fellowship in Nursing talks more about Jessie’s life, accomplishments and legacy.

Jessie’s obituary and tributes from friends and colleagues can be found here.

For further information about Jessie Mantle contact Margaret Scaia through BCHNS contact us.

For Your Reading Pleasure

In Her Own Footsteps: Flora Ross and Her Struggle for Identity and Independence in the Colonial West by D.J Richardson, released by Butterworth Books in September 2020, tells the true story of 17-year-old Flora Amelia Ross, the Metis daughter of a prominent British Columbia company family and her struggle to become independent and build a career as a nurse. The book tells of a young woman’s struggle to overcome the attitudes of her time that judged her by her gender and racial background rather than her abilities and accomplishments.

In Her Own Footsteps is the project that started the author’s writing career, initially as a research paper while he was studying history at Queen’s University, followed by three subsequent decades of research to turn it into the first novel in a trilogy about the life of Flora Amelia Ross, told as truthfully as surviving documents permit. Richardson is presently working on the next book in the Flora Ross trilogy, Matron of the Asylum.

Politics, Personalities, and Persistence tells the story of the evolution of registered psychiatric nursing in the province of Manitoba. This comprehensive account traces the distinct profession’s transition from the asylums of Manitoba, where for seventy years psychiatric nurses had cared for the mentally ill when few others were interested in them, to the halls of academia in Brandon University in 1986, the first university in Canada to grant a baccalaureate degree to psychiatric nurses.

Beverley Clare Williams Hicks, originally from New Zealand, and a registered psychiatric nurse who spent nearly forty years in mental health service in Manitoba, wrote a dissertation on the evolution of psychiatric nursing education and, in retirement, found herself compelled to write the history, in which she had played a part.
For further information on the book and its editions click here.

When Days are Long by Amy Wilson is now available for your reading pleasure as an e-book. For more information about this memoir see the blog posting of January 9, 2020.

Royalty payments are going to support an Indigenous Nurses’ Training Scholarship: The Jean Goodwill Scholarship offered by CINA (Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association). This helps to further honor Amy Wilson’s legacy and support nurses from within the population she served.


  The aim of the journal Quality Advancement in Nursing Education (QANE) is to provide a forum in which to address questions and issues related specifically to quality advancement in nursing education.

Congratulations to these authors!

Duncan, Susan M.; Scaia, Margaret R.; and Boschma, Geertje (2020) ““100 Years of University Nursing Education”: The Significance of a Baccalaureate Nursing Degree and Its Public Health Origins for Nursing Now,”  Quality Advancement in Nursing Education– Avancées en formation infirmière: Vol. 6: Iss. 2, Article 8.

To read the full article, click here.

Cook, Sarah C. and Grypma, Sonya (2020) “Accepted in Bella Bella: A historical exemplar of a missionary nursing education, in British Columbia from 1921-1925,” Quality Advancement in Nursing Education – Avancées en formation infirmière: Vol. 6: Iss. 2, Article 10.

To read the full article, click here.










SAVE THIS DATE and Registration Information

Save This Date (Feb 25, 2021 @12 PM)

Black (in)Visibility: Black Nurses in Canada Who Paved the Way

The Consortium for Nursing History Inquiry in the UBC School of Nursing is holding a panel discussion for Black History Month called: Black (in)Visibility: Black Nurses in Canada Who Paved the Way on Feb 25 from 12 – 1:30 PM PST. The panel is free and open to the public.

This panel will recognize the significant contributions of Black nurses to health care in British Columbia and Canada. The panel will feature a keynote address by historian Dr. Karen Flynn, an Associate Professor in the Departments of Gender and Women’s Studies and African-American Studies Program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Flynn’s book Moving Beyond Borders: A History of Black Canadian and Caribbean Women in the Diaspora won the Lavinia L. Dock Award from the American Association for the History of Nursing. The panel will also feature Dr. Lydia Wytenbroek, an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at UBC, who will discuss the importance of historical scholarship as a form of inquiry; Ismalia De Sousa, a doctoral student at UBC School of Nursing, who will be presenting initial findings of her project on the history of Black nurses and midwives in BC, and which offers a new perspective on Black women’s nursing work in the BC health care context; and Dr. Dzifa Dordunoo, President of the Coalition of African, Caribbean and Black Nurses in British Columbia and an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Victoria, who will provide a concluding commentary.

Register here.

Dr. Lydia Wytenbroek receives a Healthcare Project Grant

Photo credit: UBC School of Nursing

Thanks to BCHNS Honorary Member Glennis Zilm who sent in the following:

“BCHNS member Dr. Lydia Wytenbroek, who joined the UBC Nursing faculty this past fall, has been awarded a Healthcare Project Grant of almost $10,000 by AMS Healthcare, formerly the Hannah Foundation. The funds will be used for a project on Imperial Pathways of Mobility: Doctoring Women and the American Surgical Enterprise in Iran 1888-1940. Lydia is working on a book based on her doctoral thesis, and on projects related to “whiteness in Canadian nursing,” nursing’s voice and social justice, and the history of perioperative nursing. Congratulations!”