We are grateful to the RNFBC members, friends and board of the Foundation who have successfully built a substantial endowment fund. The Foundation is committed to distributing a minimum of $200,000 in bursaries each year to help support BC’s nurses and nursing students in their nursing education.
Established in 1979 as a non profit BC Society with federal charitable status by a group of BC registered nurses, the Registered Nurses Foundation of BC (RNFBC) mandate is to support all nurses and nursing students of BC pursuing basic and advanced education. We do so by raising funds to allow the distribution of bursaries to qualified students. We are committed to the advancement of nursing practice and nursing education and strive to assist as many nurses and nursing students as possible each year in their educational pursuits.
We support both entry-level (undergrad) education and advanced degrees such as Masters and PhD level programs focused on preparing practicing nurses for advanced roles like nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists; educators; and researchers.
We also support programs of education approved by RNFBC Board of Directors or Bursary Committee that advances professional nursing practice (e.g. health education, public health, community nursing, informatics, administration, health care leadership, and research).
All Nursing Programs in BC have wait lists. Unfortunately, their ability to increase enrollment is compromised by under-funding and a growing shortage of nurse educators. We sincerely hope that our work in small part is helping to alleviate that shortage.
Our Volunteer Board
For over 40 years, the Registered Nurses Foundation of BC has come to rely on the passion and expertise of our board. This year is no exception! Although from different backgrounds within the nursing community, whether working at present or retired, the common thread our volunteer board members have is their dedication to all the Foundation can offer the Registered Nurses of BC in their pursuit of educational nursing excellence.
Pat Semeniuk, President
Employment: Independent Health Care Consultant
Former Life: Executive Director, Clinical Education & Management Development, Vancouver Coastal Health
Pat is an RN (non-practicing) and an Independent Health Care Consultant. She has wide experience in all levels and fields of practice, including senior administration, leadership and education. Before her retirement she was the executive Director of Clinical, Education and Management Development at Vancouver Costal Health. She is also very connected to a wide network of nurses and leaders. As a member of RNFBC Pat was first involved as a member of the Bursary Committee, then as an appointment Director to fill a vacancy on the Board. She too has been very involved on the Transition Committee and her skills and experience were pivotal in process of transition. Pat was elected to the Board.
Diane Ready, Secretary Treasurer, Chair, Audit & Finance Committee
Former Life: Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA).
Diane is a retired Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA). Her education also includes a Master of Public Administration (MPA), and C. DIr. designation from The Directors College. Highlights of her professional career include Vice President Finance and Administration at Northwest Community College in BC and at Red River College in Manitoba; Secretary Treasurer of the Sunshine Coast School District; and CAO for the Village of Hazelton. Diane has served on several boards, most recently as a member and finance chair of the Greater Vancouver Community Services Society.
Heather Mass, Past President
Employment: Retired, TOB Consultants, former RNFBC President
Former Life: Chief of Nursing, BC Women’s and Children’s Hospital
Heather is an RN (Non-practicing) and has been on the Board for RNFBC for 8 years, during which she has served as President twice: first in 2016 and again (as interim) in 2020. Prior to retiring from practice she held a variety of senior positions in nursing and health care administration, including as the Chief Nursing Officer for BC’s Children’s and Women’s Health Centre, and the Provincial Health Services Authority. She also has extensive experience as a consultant and in managing innovative projects. After retiring she established a Consulting Company with three colleagues and was engaged in many reviews and projects across BC and other provinces.
Patricia Wejr, Chair, Bursary Committee
Employment: Former Director, Communications Systems, Professional Practice and Policy Advisor, BC Nurses’ Union
Patricia is a former Nurse, researcher and health policy analyst. She has been the Director, Communications Systems, Professional Practice and Policy Advisor, BC Nurses’ Union. Patricia was an Editor and health advisor at Women’s Health, London England and was a staff RN, Medical, Surgical and Critical Care Float Pool. Patricia has been an Interviewer, Podcast Researcher, Oral History Project, BC Labour Heritage Centre and Interviewer, transcript editor, North Vancouver Archives (MONOVA). Patricia has served on several boards in BC, including North Shore Health Regionalization Planning Committee, West Coast LEAF, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative, BC Office, and BC Health Education Foundation. She has been a reviewer of RNAO Best Practice Guidelines Evaluation component, Educator Pathway Project. She has been a member of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Nursing Research Advisory Council, the BC Joint Quality Worklife Committee, the Advisory Committee and Evaluation, Research to Action: Improving Retention and Recruitment in Smaller Communities: The 80:20 Project and Advisory Committee, Workload/Staffing Plan Demonstration Project.
Lorelei Gibson, Board Member
Employment: Transformation Lead, Specialized Community Service Programs, Mental Health & Substance Use Network with Interior Health Authority
Lorelei is a practicing RN with significant background in many areas of practice and leadership, particularly in the field of mental health and substance use. She is currently the Transformation Lead, Specialized Community Service Programs, Mental Health and Substance Use Network with Interior Health. She has been involved with other national Boards, including with CNA. Her interest, skills and links to a large network of practice, educational communities and organizations will be of great help to RNFBC going forward as well. Lorelei was elected Director.
Anne Cameron, Board Member
Employment: Lawyer with Carfra Lawton LLP Lawyers
Anne’s former nursing career and subsequent legal experience in the defense of personal injury, insurance and malpractice claims (including on behalf of hospitals, nurses and midwives) has given her the ability to communicate well and work effectively with many health profession disciplines and the general public. Her understanding of health issues and interpersonal skills has been a valuable resource within the firm when challenging medico-legal cases arise. Anne worked at Harper Grey Easton in Vancouver, for 6 years as a nurse/legal assistant then from 1993 to 1998 as a practicing lawyer before moving back to Victoria her hometown. Anne has been an executive member and Chair of the Vancouver Island Civil Litigation Subsection and an executive member of the Medical-Legal Society of BC. She served as a reviewer/member of the University of Victoria Human Research Ethics Board from 2009 to 2012 and has recently become a member of the RNFBC. Anne was appointed to the Board
Cathy Duerksen, Board Member
Cathy (she/her) is a Regional Clinical Educator with Professional Practice (Nursing) at Vancouver Coastal Health, located on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples. After many years as a ‘float’ nurse at Vancouver General Hospital, Cathy discovered her love for community nursing, and has spent the majority of her career working in multiple capacities within Community Health. In her current role, Cathy works closely with Practice Leads and Clinical Educators across community-based programs to design and lead education for new initiatives, optimize scope at the unit level, and support new educators in their practice. She received a VCH ‘People First’ award for Excellence in Innovation, and approaches new projects and challenges with curiosity and openness to improvement opportunities. She holds a Masters in Education, and is a proud graduate of the VGH School of Nursing. As a grateful recipient of an RNFBC award, Cathy appreciates the opportunity to contribute to RNFBC as a Board member.
Barb Lawrie, Board Member
Former Life: Vice President, Professional Practice and Chief Clinical Information Officer at VCH
Barb Lawrie was Vice President, Professional Practice and Chief Clinical Information Officer at VCH. She has been an Adjunct Professor in the UBC School of Nursing and belongs to several professional organizations.
Barb’s broad range of experience has equipped her with a clear understanding of the issues facing nursing education for the future in BC and she looks forward to working with the RNFBC Board again to help guide, strengthen and enhance the Foundation’s mandate and outcomes.
About the RNFBC Logo
The RNFBC Logo is modeled on a traditional origami Crane which symbolizes peace and good health. It was then designed to represent the values of the profession of nursing. The shape, form, and colour of the Crane support the integration of symbols important to nursing history. The wings of the Crane symbolize the wings of the traditional nursing cap. The colour of its wings and body symbolizes traditional nursing uniforms which were white and blue. The wings of the crane also symbolize flight and as such integrate the wings of the caduceus. And as wings are designed for flight, the wings in the Logo symbolize RNFBC’s mandate and focus on supporting nurses so they may ‘take flight’ and pursue their education.