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.



Researcher’s Alert

In March of 2022, the entire archival collection of the BC History of Nursing Society was transferred to the University of British Columbia Library Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC). The Society fonds includes information on individual nurses, nursing groups, the UBC School of Nursing, biographical files, oral histories, photographs, reference material.

To view the Fonds, click on link  https://rbscarchives.library.ubc.ca/b-c-history-of-nursing-society-fonds

If you require access to the original materials click on the link: https://rbsc.library.ubc.ca/visiting/

The Rare Books and Special Collections and University Archives reading room will be temporarily closed from August 1 to November 30, 2022, for upgrades.

During this down time you may contact Krisztina Laszlo, RBSC Archivist, and digital copies could be available if requested.



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)

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 [email protected] before 31 December 2021.

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