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 as a charitable organization by the Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia in 1979 and now the Registered Nurses Foundation of BC, the 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.
There are 17 Nursing Programs in BC and all 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
Over the past 41 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.
Diane Clements, President
Former Life: Canadian Nurses Association, Director, Practice & Policy
Diane is a RN (non-practicing) with an extensive career in clinical practice, education, administration, and government, including serving as the Director: Practice and Policy with CNA. She lives on Vancouver Island and is connected to a wide network of nurses across BC and Canada. After being appointed to the RNFBC Board in 2020 she assumed the position of VP and has been tirelessly involved in the transition committee thought this year. Her work has been essential to this process. Diane was elected to the Board.
Heather Mass, Past President
Employment: Retired, TOB Consultants with Sharon Toohey, 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.
Diane Ready, 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.
Pat Semeniuk, Secretary
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.
Kelvin Britten, Chair, Bursary Committee
Former Life: Regional Professional Practice Leader, Interior Health
Kelvin Britten is an accomplished nurse leader, educator, and clinician. He is retired but was most recently employed as the Regional Professional Practice Leader in the Professional Practice Office for Interior Health. This role included being the Regional Consultant for scope of practice optimization across all sectors and services within Interior Health and as the Regional Consultant for Chair Nursing Scope of Practice Council Interior Health. He is also the current Co-Chair Health Professions Act Regional Leads (Nursing) Committee.
Lorelei Gibson, Board Member
Employment: Practice Leader, 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 Practice Leader: Mental Health and Substance Use Network with Interior Health. She is also actively involved in other 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
Katie McLellan, Board Member
Employment: Registered Nurse, Interior Health Authority; Operations Knowledge Coordinator – Home Health
Katie has both an RN from Thompson River University (2011) and an MN from UBC – Okanagan (2018). She also holds a Perinatal Care (Rural Nursing Certificate) from UNBC 2012. She is currently employed as a Registered Nurse, Infection Control Practitioner – Infection Prevention and Control at Ponderosa Lodge, Kamloops, BC. Her role is to support Infection Control practices in Long Term Care and designated rural acute sites and conduct surveillance in collaboration with the Communicable Disease Unit and Occupational Health regarding outbreak management and communicable disease reporting. Prior to this she has worked in a variety of positions focused on long term care, home health and community health. She has been and continues to be involved in several leadership initiatives and programs, including a Nursing Scope of Practice Council deliberating on issues regarding the optimization of nursing scope of practice. With this background Katie will bring a much needed perspective from young nurses and those working in the community and geriatric care – as well as her ideas and leadership skills – to the Board.
Cathy Duerksen, Board Member
Cathy Duerksen (she/her) is currently a Regional Clinical Educator with Professional Practice in Vancouver Coastal Health, located on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples. In addition to nursing experience in acute and long-term care, Cathy brings expertise from years of working in multiple programs within the Community, providing care and clinical education for clients where they live. She has instructed in an LPN program, developing and facilitating curriculum for expanded scope. As a Clinical Educator, Cathy is passionate about providing memorable and easy-to-access education for health clinicians in all areas of practice. She holds a Masters in Education and is a proud graduate of the VGH School of Nursing. Cathy is honoured to join RNFBC and be a member of the Board to advance and support ongoing excellence through education for nursing colleagues.
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.