Legacy: History of Nursing Education at the University of British Columbia, 1919-1994

Legacy: History of Nursing Education at the University of British Columbia, 1919-1994

Legacy: History of Nursing Education at the University of British Columbia, 1919-1994

Legacy: History of Nursing Education at the University of British Columbia, 1919-1994

Excerpt

This book pr0ovides an overview of the history of the Nursing program at the University of British Columbia over its first 75 years. It started as a labour of love by Elizabeth (Beth) Kenny McCann, who began planning for a book to celebrate the history of the UBC School of Nursing in the early 1980s. She spent a year on sabbatical just before her retirement in 1982 working on the project, and did a number of interviews, sent questionnaires to many graduates, and amassed an enormous but unorganized volume of files, letters, papers, notes, tapes, photographs, and memorabilia. When she died unexpectedly, her friend and colleague Elizabeth (Betty) Cawston and her sister Anna McCann collected these and gave them to the School of Nursing. This collection has formed the basis of an archives for the School of Nursing and was a major source of information for this book.

A major force in the history of the program has been the individuals who foresaw the effects of changing trends, who anticipated and envisioned the future, and who responded to the challenges. This book identifies the leaders and focuses on their achievements. As well, it provides an overview of the faculty and students of the various eras, using anecdotes to illustrate events characteristic of specific eras. Interviews reveal that, in the memories of graduates, it is people who are recalled, not course materials! Unfortunately, we could not include everything and everyone; there are still many gaps and many stories to be told.

In 1991, when we took on the work of completing Beth's task for the 75th anniversary of the School's founding, we never anticipated how exciting and how challenging this project would be. Beth had left a rough outline, which suggested the idea of organizing the book by the terms of the various directors, an idea that we adopted and expanded from her few pages of notes. The excitement has been in the growing realization that the contributions of the UBC School to nursing and health care have been enormous but that few people realize how many and how important these actually are. The contributions have not been recorded and therefore are essentially unknown to the present generation of nurses. We saw an opportunity to rectify this deficit.

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