Splane, Verna (nee Huffman)  (1914-2015)

  • See OH175

Verna Splanes’s recognition for her work in international nursing has included being appointed (with her husband Richard) as an Officer of the Order of Canada.  She also received honorary degrees from Queens, St. Francis Xavier and the University of British Columbia, along with numerous other awards for her work in Canada and throughout the world in the health field.

She was born in Peterborough, Ontario, where she received her initial training.  She later received her BSc in nursing from Columbia University and her Master’s of Public Health from the University of Michigan.  Her career in the public service of Canada culminated with her being appointed Principal Nursing Officer and adviser to the Deputy Minister of National Health and Welfare.  She also worked extensively with the World Health Organization, serving as an adviser to governments in the Caribbean, British Guyana, and Libya.

On her retirement in 1985 she embarked with her husband on a tour of fifty countries to examine their public health policies.  The result was Chief Nursing Officer Positions in National Ministries of Health:  Focal Points for Nursing Leadership.  Maria Salmon, Director of the Lillian Carter Center for International Nursing, states that because of her, “government chief nursing officers are having a greater favorable impact on the health of their peoples”. She was a great advocate for history of nursing and was an honorary life member of the BC History of Nursing Society

Contents of Biographical File

  1. Biographical Information Profile
  2. Biographical Summary
  3. Curriculum Vitae
  4. Biographical Sketch
  5. Biographical information
  6. “Names”, The Canadian Nurse (1972), 68 (9), 54-55.
  7. Notice of citation, The Canadian Nurse, May 1975, p. 41.
  8. “Splane Honored by Queens University”, RNABC News, October 1980, p. 18.
  9. “Fashioning the Future”, Presented at the Canadian Association of University Schools of Nursing, June 1-3, 1983.
  10. Invitation, 1996.
  11. Program for UBC Convocation, May 1996.
  12. Letter accepting invitation to give Marion Woodward lecture, May 18, 1996.
  13. “International Nursing: Advancing from a Creditable Past to a Challenging Future” Marion Woodward Lecture, October 24, 1996.
  14. Thorne, Sally, “Another Award for Verna Splane”, HON News, 19, No. 1, p. 3.
  15. “Chief Nursing Officer Positions in National Ministries of Health: Focal Points for Nursing Leadership”, by Verna Splane and Richard Splane.
  16. Nomination for Honorary Membership in the History of Nursing Professional Practice Group, April 10, 1997, with photocopy of certificate.
  17. Yvonne Zacharias, “International Public Health Nurse Always Took Plunge”, The Vancouver Sun, June 5, 2003, p. B6.
  18. “An Afternoon of Dialogue and Reflection on the Remarkable Nursing Career of
  19. Verna Huffman Splane”, November 22, 2004, University of British Columbia.
  20. [On Her Ninetieth Birthday], History of Nursing News, January 2005, p. 1.
  21. Dr. Sally Thorne, “Pioneering Policy”, Touchpoints, UBC School of Nursing, January 2005, pp. 1, 4.
  22. “A Commitment to Global Citizenship”, Rpt. From Touchpoints, July 2008, p. 7.
  23. Verna Huffman Splane ,“Glimpses of a Career in Public Health and International Nursing” by Verna Huffman Splane.  “The Caribbean Years 1959-1962”.  With annotations.
  24. “Canada’s First Chief Nurse Turns 100”, The Canadian Nurse, November 2014, p.20.
  25. “Dr. Verna Splane: The First Century”
  26. Obituary
  27. Memorial Service program
  28. “A Strong Legacy,” CNA Now, January 2015, p. 20.
  29. 2 CDs. Contents unidentified.Two videotapes of UBC round table, November 22, 2004. Transferred to video collection as Video 14 and Video 15..
  30. Note to Sheila Zerr, May 3, 2005
  31. Zilm, Glennis, “Verna Splane Honoured”, Nurses’ News, March 1996, p. 3.