New Book on Lyle Creelman

The new book, Lyle Creelman: The frontiers of global nursing, is a thoroughly-researched, well-documented book that explores not only Creelman’s life, but how a single nurse can affect global health history and leave a lasting footprint.

The detailed analysis and academic slant make it appealing for scholars of Canadian history, women’s issues, and medical and health history. But the central biographical story will have a wide appeal to nurses across Canada.


BCHNS Member Sharron Higgins receives Award

Sharron Higgins jump started the health promoting schools movement in the Capital Regional District and in British Columbia.

Photo Credit: RJH Reunion

With a strong career as a Public Health Nurse she encouraged many school and community workshops on the nature of inclusiveness, engagement, and community development.  Sharron worked collaboratively in SD 61 to foster a Comprehensive School Health model within the education community. In many school districts in BC, educators from various disciplines followed Sharron’s leadership that would benefit many children and families in the ensuing years.

In this 60th Anniversary year of the Public Health Association of BC, we want to recognize Sharron for her work in this expanded field of public heath nursing practice.

The Inmates are running the Asylum: Stories from the early days of the Vancouver Mental Patient’s Association

Interested students, faculty and the wider UBC School of Nursing community are invited to attend the showing of a documentary film about the early days of the Vancouver Mental Patient’s Association (MPA). The presentation will take place on Monday, February 24th, 1-2:30 in the UBC School of Nursing, UBC Hospital in room T182.

The documentary is about the early days of the MPA, a group that was formed in 1971 by former mental patients, activist health care workers and allies. Members of the founding group were instrumental in making the film which will be introduced by the executive producer and visiting Professor Dr. Megan Davies from York University.  A panel discussion follows the film and includes founding member Jackie Hooper who will answer questions. 

Call for Abstracts!

The Canadian Association for the History of Nursing /Association Canadienne pour l’Histoire du Nursing Annual Conference will be held June 13-15, 2014 at York University, Toronto, Canada.

The theme for the 2014 conference is Local Work, Global Health and the Challenge of Transnational Nursing. The Abstract Committee is particularly interested in papers focusing on nursing in transnational, international and global contexts, but will, of course, welcome papers on all nursing history topics. Please note that the Abstract Committee will consider submissions of panels in addition to individual papers.

The Hannah/AMS Lecture will be delivered by Dr. Juanita De Barros of McMaster University Department of History. Dr. De Barros has authored and edited numerous volumes, including her first monograph Order and Place in a Colonial City: Patterns of Struggle and Resistance in Georgetown, British Guiana, 1889-1924 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002) as well as Health and Medicine in the Circum-Caribbean, 1800-1968 (co-edited with David Wright and Stephen Palmer, Routledge, 2009.) Her current research examines maternal and infant health policy in the British Caribbean.

Please submit your abstract (maximum 250 words) and one-page c.v. for consideration by 15 February 2014 to

N.B. If invited to present at the meeting, the author must undertake to provide a translation of the abstract for the bilingual program book.

Nina Rumen Bursary Presentation

BC History of Nursing Society Presentation of the Nina Rumen Bursary January 18, 2014

Photo Credit: Ethel Warbinek BCHNS

Nina Rumen, an Honorary member of the BC History of Nursing Society since 2003, has experienced the health system as a nurse and a patient.  Based on this, and concern about the need to support the education of nurses, she decided to create the Nina Rumen Bursary to recognize a nurse who has made a difference in patient-centered care.

Working with the Scholarship Committee, the criteria was defined:

  • The award was to provide financial assistance to a nursing student in a Doctoral Progam in Nursing or Nursing related studies.
  • The applicant had to be a current member of the BCHNS, CRNBC and currently enrolled in a doctoral nursing program in B.C., submit a 250 word essay stating his/her goals for education and career, including examples of patient-centered care initiatives. Letters of reference must be submitted from two faculty members or employers and to present his/her dissertation at a mutually agreed venue.
  • The Scholarship Committee received one application and after consideration of all of the information provided, proposed that the $5000 Bursary be given to Catherine Haney. Nina reviewed the information and agreed with this decision.

Congratulations Catherine!

Sad news re: Dr. Sharon Simpson, Kamloops BC

Sharon Simpson, RN, BSN, MSc, EdD, died December 25, 2013, in hospice in Kamloops after a valiant fight with cancer.

A long-time member of the BC History of Nursing Society, she was co-author, with Karen Abbott, of Traditions and Transitions, a definitive history of the Nursing program at Thompson Rivers University (formerly Cariboo College).  A professor emeritus at Thompson Rivers University, she graduated from a diploma nursing program at the Prince Edward Island Hospital, received her post-RN nursing degree at the University of British Columbia and a masters degree at University of Portland. This past fall, she completed her doctorate at Simon Fraser University.

Celebration of life will be held in Kamloops Jan 4, 2014 at 1pm

Successful Consortium held at UBC

Laurie Meijer Drees & Sonya GrypmaThe first Consortium for Historical Inquiry in Nursing and Health Care, organized by Dr.Geertje Boschma, with generous support from patron & Associate Professor Emerita Helen Shore, proved a very successful event Thurs. Nov 21,2013.

Dr.Sonya Grypma presented on her new book “China Interrupted – Japanese internment and the reshaping of a Canadian missionary community”, and Laurie Meijer Drees presented on her new book “Healing histories: Stories from Canada’s Indian hospitals”  Geertje opened the event with “Historical nursing knowledge: why we need it”.

PhD Student Poster Award Winners: 

  • Catherine Haney: “Considering Oral History: Methodological questions & reflections”
  • Helen Vandenberg: “From Methodist Mission to Modern Hospital: The History of Steveston’s Japanese Hospital:1895-1942”
  • Jennifer Stephens: “Transforming Maggie May to Miss Pu: Neoculturalism Through Missionary Nursing in North China, 1924-1943”