In 1944 Beth McCann, who at the time was a graduate of the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing, came to her friend, and RCH graduate, Agnes “Gussy” MacPhail about forming an alumni association. It didn’t take long before this idea became a reality, and the RCH School of Nursing Alumnae Association was born.
Over the next few years the Association would become a bastion of support for a whole student body. They were ushers, helpers, and even shouldered the financial burden of graduation buy purchasing caps for the grads. They helped students get over the hump with small interest free loans that went towards things like buying shoes, glasses, or even more extreme cases like dental work.
Beyond helping students charitable donations from the Alumnae Association did a wide range of good in the nursing community. They did everything from refurnishing the chapel in the 1962 Sherbrooke residence to paying for a student’s trip from Trinidad to England for further Education.
In 2007 the RCH Alumnae Associate was granted charitable status, and accepts donations from any interested party. Today the alumnae association supports the education of two – three RNs per year. One bursary in memory or “Gussie MacPhail” is awarded to an RN currently working at the Royal Columbian Hospital pursuing ongoing education, and a scholarship is awarded to a second or three-year university nursing student.
For the past 71 years the RCH Nursing Alumnae Association has helped would be nurses answer the call. If you’re interested in applying for a bursary information can be found above.