Indigenous Nurse Education Bursary

September 14, 2023
Anne Cameron

The RNFBC commemorates the approaching National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, honouring the strength and perseverance of residential school survivors and the children who never returned to their homes and communities. 

In our commitment to support Indigenous Peoples in BC, this past year the Foundation has been actively developing a bursary to support Indigenous students and nurses in their educational pursuits in nursing.  Our Indigenous Nurse Education Bursary will be to support Indigenous students and nurses in all levels of nursing study and advancement, including LPN, RN, RPN and Nurse Practitioners. 

We have started to collect donations to support and fund this bursary and hope have the bursary ready for Indigenous applicants in 2024.   If you wish to contribute financially, donations of any amount are most welcome. We soon will be posting a pathway for easy, online contributions towards the Indigenous Nurse Education Bursary.

We have met and consulted with Indigenous nurse educators and clinical nursing leaders as to how best to create this bursary in a meaningful and safe way.  In our consultations, we have received most helpful teachings regarding the hurtful impact of the colonial legacy of residential schools and other experiences of Indigenous Peoples, and the importance to consult Indigenous educators and leaders on an ongoing basis in our creation and management of this bursary. Our priority is to be most mindful of and sincerely respect Indigenous knowledge and history, Indigenous student and nurse applicants and Indigenous communities.

As part of our learnings regarding Indigenous experiences, healthcare and nursing education, the Board had the benefit this year of a moving educational session presented by two Indigenous Nurse Educators from the School of Nursing at the University of Victoria: Associate Professor Dr. Lisa Bourque Bearskiin; and Assistant Teaching Professor, Dr. Leanne Kelly. Through them, we also learned of the upcoming Masters of Indigenous Nursing being developed through a collaboration of six BC universities with Indigenous educators, Elders, Knowledge Keepers and leaders. The stated goal of this program is to better support Indigenous healthcare providers, address racism in the healthcare industry and meet the needs of communities with Indigenous knowledge into mainstream practice. We look forward to the launch of this Masters Program, hopefully in 2024.

If you wish to contribute to our learnings or provide input on the criteria of the Indigenous Nurse Education Bursary, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be pleased to receive your input.

Next spring, we hope to welcome an Indigenous Nurse member to our Board of Directors to add to the Board’s understandings and pursuits in support of Indigenous Nurse education and the excellence of Nursing.