I was a 30 year member of the faculty of Nursing (retired as a Full Professor in 2010). I joined the school when there were only 7 faculty in 1980 and most have now deceased.

We only offered the post RN BSN program, and only on campus. The focus had been on Gerontologic Nursing prior to that but was beginning to be broader to include all ages. We were located in the Sedgwick Building, had no computers, and each of us arranged our own clinical placements. Dorothy and I both smoked in our offices, in meetings and even during classes. Times were sure different!! I have a yearbook from 1984. I don’t know if any others were ever produced. We held great social functions with Social Work, Child Care and Public Admin where the faculty performed skits portraying our impressions of each other. They were a hoot!!

—Elaine Gallagher, RN, PhD

In June 2005, I graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. Walking across the stage to receive my diploma was one of the proudest moments of my life. My degree in nursing has given me a life and a career that I couldn’t have imagined prior to embarking on that four-year journey.

I was 41 when I entered nursing school. I was a single parent with four little boys, 11 years and younger. I was on welfare and we lived in subsidized housing. Prior to having children, I was a geologist. I received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of British Columbia in 1983. However, life as a geologist was not conducive to raising children as a single parent, so I was determined to secure a career that would allow me do so.

I funded my schooling with student loans. I persevered each year because I had too much to lose financially if I didn’t. Nursing school was tough, the academic bar was high and the practicums were arduous. There were endless papers and exams. At times it felt like the journey would never end.

Through hard work come rewards. I worked hard. I graduated with honours and I embarked on a career that I love. I am now financially secure and my boys are thriving as fine young men. For anyone who is second guessing a career in nursing, just tighten the seat belt and take the ride. It’s a great one.

—Laurel Dunkley, BSN, Class of 2005

From the 2016 Fall Communiqué — 40th Anniversary Issue