Parade of Past & Present nursing uniforms


On May 12, 2018  the Vancouver Island University hosted & co-sponsored the Fashion Show Parade of past and present nursing costumes and uniforms called  “Dressing Up History: nurses uniforms and professional identity”

The BCHNS received the invitation through long time member Sheila Zerr from  Cheryl Warsh, Professor of the Department of History at the VIU.  Sheila has created a collection of uniforms & costumes represented through the ages which she has used  to teach “history of nursing”.  The event was moderated by long time member Glennis Zilm.  Models were students & faculty of VIU and members of the BCHNS.

Photo Credits: Michelle Eng, Cheryl Entwistle,Kathy Murphy, Stephanie Buckingham, and Sue Forshaw.



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Ann Thomas Callahan’s Story

We think you will enjoy reading this touching and amazing story about one of Manitoba’s first indigenous nurses. Ann Thomas Callahan spent 14 years in residential schools and after pursuing more education, became one of the first First Nations nurses in Manitoba. The following article tells of her remarkable nursing career filled with challenges and personal rewards. In 2007 a building at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg was named in her honour.

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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.

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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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