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100 years of nursing at Women’s College Hospital

from the May 2, 2011 issue of Connect

100 years of nursing at Women’s College Hospital

Clara Dixon, WCH’s first nurse in 1911A century ago, Women’s College Hospital – with a modest seven beds – opened its doors for the very first time. That same year, the hospital’s first nurse, Clara Dixon, was hired, marking 2011 not only as the 100th anniversary of Women’s College itself – but also the 100th anniversary of nursing at Women’s College.

In 1911, Dixon was the only nurse on staff, and made $30 per month. On duty 24 hours a day (unless the housekeeper could take over), Dixon worked tirelessly for the patients, setting a standard for providing the highest quality of care, and creating a legacy of nursing excellence at Women’s College Hospital.

A century later, that legacy carries on. Today, nurses at Women’s College continue to be committed to delivering the best quality of care to our patients.

“There have been many changes in the practice of nursing over the past 100 years. While nurses continue to provide essential care to patients, a significant part of their role today is a professional one — through research and education, they influence and reinvent models of care, and provide patients with the tools they need to improve their health and well-being outside of the hospital environment,” says Jane Mosley, chief nursing executive, health disciplines and professional affairs.  “One thing that hasn’t changed is how much we depend on nurses. Our nurses are an invaluable resource, which is why I can’t thank them enough for all of their incredible contributions.”

To celebrate our extraordinary nurses, Women’s College Hospital will be hosting National Nursing Week, May 9-15. A host of educational events are planned, focusing on topics such as skin care; medications management and self management in chronic disease; healthy feet/legs; and atrial fibrillation. Nurses and all other staff, physicians and volunteers will also have a chance to kick back and relax by taking part in a zumba or kundalini yoga class.

On Thursday, May 12, our Annual Nursing Luncheon will be held in Emily Stowe’s Café, where the Nursing Awards of Excellence will be awarded to those who have shown outstanding dedication and commitment to the role they play here at Women’s College.

“All week we will be celebrating everything nurses do, and I hope everyone in the hospital will take a moment to thank our nurses for their exceptional efforts,” adds Mosley.  All are invited to visit the lobby May 9-13 to view a display honouring our nurses, including more information about the hospital’s first nurse, Clara Dixon.

For a full listing of Nursing Week events, please click here.

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