Finding Florence: A First Look at the New UCalgary Nursing

Finding Florence: A First Look at the New UCalgary Nursing

Learn more about the founder of modern nursing while getting a tour of the renovated Professional Faculties Building.

Learn more about Florence and tour our building!

We celebrated Alumni Month by honouring the legendary nurse Florence Nightingale and are taking you on a short 20-minute tour of our newly renovated Professional Faculties Building, home of UCalgary’s Faculty of Nursing.

This virtual tour, led by alumnus MJ Calungcaguin BN’17, will guide you through each of the four floors where you’ll bump into some  “Find Florence” fun.

Finding Florence: A First Look at the New UCalgary Nursing

Did you know?

She's named after the city of Florence in Italy

Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820 in Florence, Italy. Her family moved to England just a year later, when she was one.

She's known as the 'Lady with the Lamp'

How did Florence get her nickname “Lady with the Lamp?” During the 1853 Crimean War, she regularly did rounds, carrying a lantern, to assess injured soldiers.

She was the original hygiene advocate

She was influential in improving hospital sanitation and hygiene policy in the UK.

She was an influential leader

She put nursing practices in place such as infection control, public advocacy and therapeutic communication, which have become the core of modern nursing.

Welcome to the newly-renovated Professional Faculties Building, completed in the summer of 2020

This series of videos (20 minutes total) will tour you through each floor in the building with one of our wonderful alumni executives as your host. The faculty now occupies all four floors of the building instead of just two.

These videos were created as a celebration of Alumni Month 2020 using a VR camera for a 360 degree view of our space. Be sure to click on the arrows in each clip or drag your mouse around to see more of the each area.

Our host MJ Calungcaguin, BN'17 shares instructions for our virtual reality tour and how you'll be able to follow along and get a 360 degree view of all the corners and crevices in the entire building.

1st Floor

The undergraduate program team has moved to the second floor, but their former offices have been occupied by other staff members. The foyer is still the hub of student activity – or will be when everyone is back in the building.

Our UCalgary Nursing Mental Health and Wellness Initiative has its own space, a director and staff AND its own Wellness Dog, Jack.

From the foyer, you can enter our Clinical Simulation Learning Centre. Outside, MJ meets Christi Lange and Jack, our Wellness Dog. Jack is an Australian Labradoodle who supports our students, faculty and staff by offering a calming and positive presence. 

The CSLC occupies most of the lower level of the building. Down the main hall is a great place for students to park a laptop and do some work. This area contains classrooms, three simulation suites, a control room and debrief areas.

She made pie charts cool

Applying skills in math learned from her dad, Florence Nightingale used the dessert-shaped diagrams to compare death and disease statistics within the British army.

Florence was a precocious kid

She read and wrote at an early age and liked to talk politics with her father.

She was a polyglot

Florence spoke English, French, Italian and German fluently and had a good grasp of Latin and Greek.

She's a writer too

While she’s seen as the founder of modern nursing, Florence was also an English social reformer, statistician and writer. She wrote a few medical books - in simple English so that anyone could understand – as well as works on religion and mysticism.

2nd Floor

Welcome to the main administrative area. Meet our associate dean, research and proud alumna Dr. Nancy Moules, BN'95, MN'97, PhD'00, one of the five associate deans and many administrative staff on this level.

Classrooms no longer open into the main hall. There are still two larger ones down the inside hallway, but faculty offices were removed to make room for a couple more - with windows! Students with classes here will get views of the new McKimmie Tower.

Stephanie Ng, BComm'03, Director of Development shows us the Nursing Advancement Office at the end of this administrative hallway. It's the hub for communications, alumni activities, events and fundraising.

Beyond the windowed classrooms, touchdown space was created for sessional instructors. Down this hallway, the new offices of the undergraduate and graduate program offices are now combined into one convenient space and managed by Carrie MacKay.

Florence was a medical tourist

Florence loved to travel and gain insight into global health care. She trotted the globe exploring hospital practices in places like Germany and Greece and advised her patients to visit cities where health care was more affordable. She is considered to have inspired medical travel.

She had royal connections

Queen Victoria gave her an engraved brooch – known as the Nightingale Jewel – to honour her contributions during the Crimean War. The pair eventually met in 1856 and they stayed pen pals for the rest of their lives.

And King Edward VII awarded her the British Order of Merit. She was the first woman to be inducted and she would be the first and only woman for the next 58 years with this distinction.


She contracted Crimean fever

While she was nursing during the Crimean War, Florence contracted Crimean fever. She never fully recovered from the infection, but did not let her illness keep her from pursuing her professional goals and changing the course of the nursing profession.

3rd Floor

The third floor now houses the majority of instructors and professors and includes some important meeting rooms where students can have private conversations with faculty members like Heather Bensler, BN'97.

Previously, most of our nursing instructors had office space in Craigie Hall, a completely different building because, well, there was just not enough room for everyone on two floors Professional Faculties Building. Now, we're all in the same building.

Nursing faculty and staff have a bright new lounge area to enjoy their breaks and eventually hold some staff parties.

She chose career over nuptials

In spite of family pressures, Florence rejected a few marriage proposals, including one from her cousin. She never married.

She was offered a special burial spot in Westminster Abbey

Florence refused the offer to be buried where only the deceased elite were interred. Instead, she was laid to rest in the family plot in Hampshire, England when she died.

The story behind Nightingales

In 1860, Florence established the first ever nursing school connected to a full-service hospital called the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care. Graduates of the school were called Nightingales.

4th Floor

Amber Porter heads up our Technology Integrated Learning Team (TILT) from this floor and supports everything from D2L and educational technologies to blended/online learning and teaching strategies.

Kate Wong, BN'12 is now a proud PhD student working away within our new beautiful space for research teams and graduate students.

On the 4th floor, our research space includes an area for our post doctoral fellows and the Nursing Research Office where a hard-working staff team assists in grant applications and research projects every step of the way.

Congrats to our Finding Florence contest winners: Vivian Lai BN'91 and Gaylynne Plysiuk, Graduate Programs