UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Mary Richmond and transitions in nursing education 1940-1990 : a biographical perspective Hlina, Sandra Lynn


Nursing education in Canada, and more specifically British Columbia (BC) went through a significant period of transition post Second World War. The hospital based programs which began in the late 19th century started being phased out and move towards the college and university setting where nurses were educated in a manner similar to other professions. Mary L. Richmond, who was a graduate of a hospital based program at VGH in the 1940s, became a significant nursing leader in BC and played an influential part in the nursing profession during this time period. This study takes a historical look, using the biographical method, at the transition of nursing education from hospital based programs to college and university programs. This transition is examined through the lived experience of Mary L. Richmond, a nursing leader and innovator during the transition period of the 1940s through to the 1990s. The findings of the study reveal the many social, cultural, economic and political influences that affected the movement of nursing education away from the hospital based model. The study reveals several themes influencing the transition including advancing technology, resource allocation, changing demographics, re-assignment of responsibility, and the shifting place of nursing education. In addition, the study provides a personal perspective overlying the changes that occurred, and reveals how Richmond emerged as a leader in bridging nursing education and practice. Many of the themes and issues arising from this study are similar to issues in nursing education and practice today. This study adds to the current research of the history of nursing education in BC and Canada and it provides a historical perspective from which to view and problem solve nursing education and practice issues in today’s health care system.

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