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Fifty years strong

Western Regional School of Nursing celebrates golden anniversary

Teaching and Learning

By Melanie Callahan

The Western Regional School of Nursing is celebrating a significant milestone: 50 years since the first graduating class.

The school, a division of Western Health, has a long history of nursing education in Newfoundland and Labrador. The anniversary will be marked throughout the year with events that look toward both the future of the program and reflect on the past 50 years.

‘Integral part’

“Grenfell Campus has a special relationship with Western Regional School of Nursing, as we offer their programs in collaboration with other schools at the campus, allowing their students the benefit of both a practical education and diverse academic offerings,” said Dr. Jeff Keshen, vice-president, Grenfell Campus.

“The nursing school is an integral part of our campus community, and we are proud of the excellent work of the faculty, staff and students in the discipline.”

The first class of just over 30 students began their careers as nurses back in 1971 at Monaghan Hall. Since then, the school has seen more than 2,000 graduates.

Four nursing students walk four abreast down a hallway.
The nursing school in Corner Brook is looking back over the last half decade.
Photo: Submitted

Michelle House, interim CEO, Western Health, says there are many things to celebrate, including the high quality of nursing education offered at the Western Regional School of Nursing and that it has been instrumental in meeting a critical need for nurses in a variety of roles and settings.

“Nurses who have graduated from the school continue to have a positive impact in health care,” Ms. House said.

“Working collaboratively with other health-care professions, nurses have a huge impact on the lives of people they encounter, as well as the health-care system.”

Year-long celebration

A timeline marking the significant accomplishments of the nursing school and opportunities for nursing alumni to reconnect with each other will be provided in the coming months.

“We’ve continually adapted our program to recognize the comprehensive knowledge, critical thinking and clinical judgment that nurses need to be leaders in health care,” said Peggy Colbourne, director, Western Regional School of Nursing.

“Over the past 50 years, our students and faculty have been advocates for nursing, nursing education, research and health care, and they have greatly contributed to our communities, provincially, nationally and around the world.”

To learn more about celebrations and events, please visit here.

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