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A new bursary in memory of Carol Acton

A new bursary in memory of Carol Acton will be established in 2023.

Carol Acton (1944-2021) was born in Strathroy, Ontario and graduated from the Victoria Hospital School of Nursing in London Ontario in 1966. After moving to Vancouver, she worked at St. Paul’s Hospital as staff nurse and head nurse on surgical units. She advanced her career, completing both an undergraduate (BSN 1974) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) at UBC. She then became Director of Care at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. She went on to UBC hospital as a Patient Services Manager for the medical units and then moved to VGH.

In 1999, she became the first Patient Services Manager for the ACE (Acute Care for Elders) Units at VGH. The ACE journey began when Carol led a restructuring process that changed three Family Practice Units (64 beds and more than 100 staff), to become the Subacute Medical unit and the ACE unit. She established an ACE Committee where staff could share ideas about the new unit. She inspired people to join in an innovative approach that was based on research and shared purpose. Through the ACE Committee, Carol moved towards greater involvement in decision-making and fostered collaboration between nursing, medicine and the interdisciplinary team. Each person felt valued for their contribution. She actively demonstrated that using a collaborative approach contributes to quality, patient-centred care.  She led the ACE Committee towards a consensus in a philosophy and mandate. At that time, this was almost revolutionary!  Carol supported the team to work towards the shared outcomes by trusting the process. Despite challenges, Carol remained positive while supporting, respecting and assisting each nurse to make a decision regarding work schedule based on their values and best interests. She cared deeply for the individual circumstances of all nurses and did everything she could to help them with their concerns while, at the same time, upholding professional standards and collective agreements. She was committed to the value of each nurse, the quality of work-life, and professional nursing practice. She also had a great sense of humour which she used effectively to lighten a situation and to convey appreciation. The ACE unit remains today, a model for elder care in Canada and around the world and it is a genuine tribute to Carol’s nursing legacy. Carol retired in 2002.

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A Record 274 Award Winners

RNFBC is proud to announce that a record number of 274 bursaries worth $276,000 were given out in the most recent award cycle.

While this was a record of giving for the Foundation, the number of applicants far exceeded what we were able to award.  This demand demonstrates the pressing need to support both students hoping to become nurses and nurses who are furthering their education in order to meet the requirements of the health care system.

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Bernadet Ratsoy Award

This award was founded in memory of Bernadet Ratsoy by her husband along with contributions from her many colleagues and friends. A well respected Nurse and Educator with a 28 year career at St. Paul’s Hospital culminating in the role of Vice President of Nursing, as Executive Director of the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses and finishing her career in 2002 as Associate Dean of the School of Health Sciences at BCIT.

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Vancouver Foundation: Publicover Award

The award established in honour of Agnes M Publicover provide an award for students at the Undergraduate, Graduate, or Certificate level in  any RNFBC Bursary Supported Education Programs.

Administered through the Vancouver Foundation, RNFBC was chosen as the beneficiary starting 2020. Born in Scotland in 1915 and passed away in 2014, Mrs. Publicover valued her extensive circle of family and friends. Although not a nurse herself, she also had an immense respect for the nursing community and the costs associated in nursing education. She was a strong supporter of many worthy organizations in her community such as St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver Opera, Vancouver Art Gallery and especially the YWCA and RNFBC is so pleased to be included in that list.

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Season of Giving

Throughout the challenges of the last number of years, we are grateful nurses have continued to do their jobs, caring for us when we are at our most vulnerable. We are also grateful that there are many who continue to choose nursing as their profession. Since 1979, Registered Nurses Foundation of BC has financially supported those entering schools of nursing as well as those who require further education to meet the needs of a complex health care system.

This year, the Foundation received many more applications from RNs, LPNs and RPNs than we could support. Sadly, we have had to disappoint many qualified applicants.

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Remembering Military Nurses

On this day of remembrance, RNFBC pays tribute to the many nurses who have gone to war. The BC History of Nursing Society wrote of BC nurses who served in World War I, pointing out that 54 Vancouver General Hospital grads alone enlisted.

In World War II 4,480 Canadian nurses served in the military as Nursing Sisters.

Learn more about the remarkable nurses who stepped up to care for the sick and wounded.

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Thanksgiving Message

To our nurses:

While we are all snug at home enjoying family, friends and the delicious aroma of Thanksgiving cooking, many of you are working diligently to make sure our loved ones are cared for.

On this day of giving thanks, all of us at RNFBC wish to take a moment to recognize all of you who are working on this holiday. We also hope that all those who are, or have loved ones who are receiving care on this holiday, will take also time to recognize and thank the nurses caring for themselves or their family.

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Thank You!

As we enter the fall academic season, RNFBC would like to give a shout out to all the people and organizations that are so important to health care in British Columbia.  First, we wish to recognize our nurse educators who work very hard to instill knowledge and skills into  our future generation of nurses.   We are also very thankful for all the students who have chosen to enter the nursing profession and who will be at our bedsides, in our homes and in the many other places nurses work to help meet our health care needs.

We are also especially thankful to all the donors whose support makes it possible for the RNFBC to provide bursaries for nursing students at all levels of learning.  The Foundation has committed to a minimum of $200,000 in financial support to student nurses annually and we truly appreciate the continued support from all of you who help to make this happen.

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Support Nurses

Nurses need our support.  This year, we have seen a record number of applicants for the RNFRBC bursaries.  We expect to support between 200 – 230 nursing students.

While we commit to a minimum of $200,000 in funding each year, reaching this goal can be challenging.

Who has not needed a nurse?  Nurses play an essential role in society today by being advocates for health promotion, educating the public and patients on preventing injury and illnesses, participating in rehabilitation, and providing care and support.

RNFBC is calling on everyone to help us ensure we can support and train as many new nurses as possible.

Please DONATE NOW to help us help provide financial support to student nurses.

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Back to School

September is traditionally back to school for many students. For those aspiring to be nurses it may be their first term in an RN, LPN or RPN education program or continuing in their second or third year on their way to entering nursing practice. For others already licensed it may mean advancing their nursing practice through education to improve the health care of British Columbians of all ages and in all settings and practices.

To all those students we thank you for choosing nursing as your career – one of the noblest of professions and we wish you well in your studies and career.

To donors – your contributions help to support these nurses enter the profession and advance their practice. Thank you for your contributions to date and we look forward to your continuing contributions.

Pat Semeniuk
President

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