History of organization

Nursing History Nova Scotia Society 


 The Nursing History logo is symbolized by:

Florence Nightingale Lamp with blue background for nursing

Waves, in green, under the motto for the Atlantic ocean

Colours of Nova Scotia – blue, yellow, white and green


-‘in the beginning’ -


In the Fall of 2007, a suggestion was made by Gloria Stephens at a VG Alumni meeting to form a History Group. A small group of nurses met at Gloria’s home and decided to pursue this idea by finding out if there would be an interest throughout the province.

During the CRNNS Annual meeting (May’08) two VG Alumni members (Joyce Baxter and Edith Ward) had a display showing historical nursing artifacts along with a form to determine if there was interest in joining this history group. The response was encouraging.

 The first meeting was held at 7 pm on September 24, 2008, at the home of Mary Sue MacKenzie, Halifax, with 11 attending, representing different Nursing Schools and chaired by Gloria Stephens. There was a positive response to continue, knowing that a considerable amount of ‘ground work’ had to follow. A discussion as to who would be the leader was conducted and it was agreed that Gloria would have this responsibility.

 A second meeting was held November 13, 2008, at 2565 Roosevelt Dr., and the following became the Founding members of the Nursing History NS: Joyce Baxter, Barbara Fulton, Mary Sue MacKenzie, Madeleine McNeil, Marguerite Muise, Norma Price, Edith Ward, Gloria Stephens and Maxine Young. At this meeting a ‘draft’ of objectives and bylaws was presented. A Treasurer was selected, that being Maxine Young. The fee for membership at this time was set at $5.00 per year.

A third meeting was scheduled for January 21, 2009 at 2 PM at 2565 Roosevelt Dr, Halifax. The draft Bylaws, objectives and fee was viewed on the CRNNS website for any response. It was decided that meetings would be September, October, November, April, May, June for an executive and a general membership meeting to be held during the CRNNS Annual meetings in May. Two attempts were made to hold a general meeting during the CRNNS Annual and no one showed up. The CRNNS is not a venue to hold such a meeting as their meeting is too busy and the delegates have had enough by the end of the day. During 2009 a motto and logo was agreed as developed by Gloria Stephens. The motto being ‘Honouring the Past’.

 During the year of 2010 an official Secretary was appointed and a chair for Publicity. The Executive now consisted of a President – Gloria Stephens; Secretary- Joyce Baxter; Treasurer – Maxine Young and one ‘Standing’ Committee chair Publicity – Mary Sue MacKenzie. To get all the background work accomplished meetings were held monthly except December, July through to the end of September. The philosophy, beliefs and mandate statements were completed in 2010.

There is now a Nursing History ‘Core’ Committee (2011) which presently manages the organization. Other members are kept informed via email or post. This Core committee consists of 18 members because all live within the HRM and easy access to meetings. The Treasurer at this point is Lesa Light replacing Maxine Young who died suddenly, August, 2011.



                 ·        Nominated a NS nurse to have her name inserted into the CNA Memorial Book, and the nomination was accepted. This was Jean Nelson, a VG graduate of 1932

·        Represented Nursing History by having a booth at the CRNNS Annual General Meeting 2008 through to 2012, for publicity and a membership drive

·        Publicity pamphlet developed and updated twice

·        Membership cards

·        Note pads developed for publicity

·        A web site has been developed by Iris Shea: www.nursinghistorynovascotia.com

·        Nursing History NS Book of Remembrance has been developed by Allan Tobacca

·        Nursing profiles are being collected

·        A data-base for historical items housed in hospitals throughout the province has been started

 Next goal is to have the membership more provincially represented   

 Nova Scotia is filled with historical events some of which are the first in Canada. One area which has a proud and important impact on history is the health professions of which nursing is a major player. The history of nursing in Nova Scotia and the nursing pioneers (past & present) of this province could be lost over time if there is no mechanism to coordinate the written facts. The legacy is inherited from the knowledge of the past and captured by the zeal inspired by a vision of the future.  


Prepared by Gloria Stephens, President

Subpages (1): History