Our History

The Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary has a proud history going back 50 years. 

The Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary has a proud history going back more than 50 years. The faculty has grown from a school of nursing in the newly formed University of Calgary in the 1960s to a full-on faculty in the 1970s. It began with a Bachelor of Nursing program and has expanded to include a graduate program with master's, nurse practitioner and doctoral studies. Concurrent with the addition of graduate studies, the faculty embarked on development of a research program. By 2015, the faculty proudly supported four chairs in nursing research and two research professorships.

UCalgary Nursing continues to lead the pursuit of nursing excellence, influencing and changing the face of nursing education, research and practice.

Important Dates

1954 

  • University nursing education in Calgary begins when Bachelor of Science nursing students from the University of Alberta take the first year of courses at the Calgary branch of UAlberta.

1966 

  • The University of Calgary obtains independence from UAlberta; that same year, the opening of two new hospitals in Calgary creates a more pressing need for nursing staff from this city.

1968 

  • University of Calgary administration agrees to establish a School of Nursing

1969 

  • First School of Nursing director (Shirley Good) is appointed

1970 

  • First class starts in September

1974 

  • First class graduates from the Bachelor of Nursing program from the University of Calgary
  • The faculty moves from the Education Tower to the fifth floor of the Social Sciences building

1975 

  • School of Nursing becomes Faculty of Nursing

1977 

  • The faculty graduates its first post-diploma nurses in keeping with mission to more adequately prepare registered nurses for leadership positions. 

1980s 

  • The faculty’s research capacity grows steadily with a combination of research projects undertaken and increasing availability of research funding for nursing projects.

1981 

  • First class of Master of Nursing students begins
  • The faculty moves to the fourth floor of the Biological Sciences building

1982

  • Family Nursing Unit established. This marked the beginning of a rapidly expanding graduate research and service program at the Faculty of Nursing

1988

  • Joint Venture Feasibility initiative undertaken by Faculty of Nursing, Foothills Hospital

1990s 

  • The faculty’s research initiatives gather more momentum with an expanding number of research and service groups.

1993

  • The Faculty of Nursing implements a Bachelor of Nursing Program conjointly with the Foothills Hospital School of Nursing and Mount Royal College Department of Nursing and Allied Health called the Calgary Conjoint Nursing Program (CCNP).
  • Multimedia Development Laboratory established and Learning Resource Centre expanded with grant support from Shopper’s Drug Mart.

1994 

  • First PhD in Nursing degree is conferred
  • The faculty moves to the newly constructed Professional Faculties Building

1997

  • First class graduates from the CCNP

1998

  • Southern Alberta Nursing and Health Research Resources Unit (SANHRRU) opened
  • Faculty hosts the seventh Biennial North American Learning Resource Centres Conference

1999 

  • First PhD in Nursing class is admitted
  • Web-based Post Diploma Program begins in collaboration with Centennial College
  • International partnerships with nursing programs initiated at University of Tampere, Finland and Kagawa Medical University, Japan

2000 

  • Partnership signed between Medicine Hat College and University of Calgary 

2001 

  • Nurse practitioner diploma program is initiated
  • First cohort of Bachelor of Nursing students at Medicine Hat College is admitted

2004

  • CCNP program discontinued
  • Dr. Geertje Boschma publishes a history book on the faculty called Faculty of Nursing on the Move:  Nursing at the University of Calgary 1969 - 2004

2006 

  • The University of Calgary and State of Qatar sign an agreement to establish a undergraduate nursing education program in Doha, Qatar, patterned after the Calgary curriculum.

2007 

  • 50 nursing students are admitted to the University of Calgary in Qatar

2008

  • Susan Smith (BN'75) is awarded the University of Calgary’s Distinguished Alumni Award for her work in Mexico.
  • The faculty receives a $1.1 million donation from Dr. Barrie Strafford to establish a centre of excellence for gerontological nursing.
  • The Family Nursing Unit closes its doors.
  • PDBN program suspended.

2009    

  • Clinical Simulation Learning Centre opens 

2011 

  • Nancy Moules, PhD receives the first ever professorship in the faculty: the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation/the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute Professorship in Child and Family Centred Cancer Care

2012

  • Nicole Letourneau, PhD becomes the faculty’s first ever research chair, the Norlien/Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair in Parent-Infant Mental Health 

2013 

  • Lorraine Venturato, PhD becomes the faculty’s Chair in Gerontology

2014            

  • The inaugural Marguerite Schumacher Memorial Alumni Lecture is established and presented by Jo-Ann Hnatiuk (MN’01) in September as part of celebration of 40th anniversary of first graduating BN class

2015 

  • Kathryn King-Shier, PhD is appointed the Guru Nanak Dev Ji Dil (Heart) Research Chair
  • Nancy Moules, PhD becomes the Kids Cancer Care Foundation Chair in Child and Family Cancer Care

2016

  • A Faculty of Nursing Community Advisory Council is established with key alumni and external partners tasked with advising the dean on strategic directions and initiatives that extend the profile of the faculty.
  • The faculty hosts a day-long compassion conference in conjunction with Congress 2016, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences annual event, which includes a keynote address from Margaret Atwood
  • In conjunction with the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation in Edmonton, the Lois Hole Hospital Cross-Provincial Chair in Perinatal Mental Health is established with Dr. Dawn Kingston, PhD as chair holder.

2017

  • An innovative online mentorship program, NurseMentor,  with alumni as mentors and undergraduate students as mentees launches a pilot program with 18 pairs.
  • A first of its kind in Canada, the MN/MBA program, in conjunction with UCalgary Haskayne School of Business, is launched.
  • In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's call to action for nursing schools, the faculty creates two roles for Indigenous Initiatives.

2018

  • The faculty held its first pinning ceremony for graduating nursing students in conjunction with June's convocation.
  • First-year students were gifted with a red logo-ed backpack at the We've Got Your Back event, designed to provide a visual connection among these new students.

Former deans, UCalgary Nursing

Our directors and deans through the years

Shirley R. Good, RN PhD

  • 1969 to 1972, Director

Fred Terentiuk

  • 1972 to 1974, Acting Director

Marguerite E. Schumacher, RN MEd

  • 1974 to 1975, Director
  • 1975 to 1979, Dean

Margaret Scott Wright, PhD

  • 1979 to 1985, Dean
  • 1989 to 1990, Acting Dean

Joy D. Calkin, RN, PhD

  • 1985 to 1989, Dean

Janet L. Storch, RN, PhD

  • 1990 to 1995, Dean

Carol Rogers

  • 1995 to 1997, Acting Dean

Deborah Tamlyn, RN PhD

  • 1997 to 2002, Dean

Florence Myrick, RN, PhD

  • 2002 to 2003, Acting Dean

Marlene Reimer, RN, PhD

  • 2003 to 2004, Acting Dean

Michael Clinton, RN, PhD

  • 2004 to 2007, Dean

Dianne Tapp, RN, PhD

  • 2007 to 2008, Acting Dean
  • 2008 to 2009, Interim Dean
  • 2009 to 2018, Dean