A donation to the college reveals an award for nursing students
By Jessica Berget, Editor-in-Chief
On October 2, Douglas College announced the presentation of the largest annual financial student award at the college, the Mary Gordon Nursing Award.
This nursing award was created from a donation to the Douglas College Foundation and is valued at $10,000 a year. The sum was donated to the college by Mary Gordon, a former registered nurse at the Royal Columbian Hospital Nursing School and BC local.
The award will first be presented in 2020 to a Douglas nursing student who demonstrates academic excellence in the Bachelor of Science for Nursing (BSN). This is the largest financial award available to BSN students in British Columbia.
The donation stems from Gordon’s nursing history and her passion and support for nursing training and education.
“I’m very happy to join my Royal Columbian Hospital School of Nursing alumnae and friends to support nursing students in British Columbia,” said Mary Gordon, as reported by the Douglas College website.
“I hope my gift assists in highlighting the importance of nursing education and encourages the dedication, extensive knowledge, strong commitment to caring, and gracious character that nursing requires.”
The Douglas College BSN is a rigorous four-year, 94 credit program—not including electives. The first year consists of academic foundations which have 30 university transferrable credits. The second, third, and fourth year are concentrated on the study and practice of nursing. The roughly estimated cost of the program is $16,000 including fees, textbooks, resources, and equipment—but that price varies for reasons such as the cost of each individual course and the fact that it is subject to change.
Given the cost of the program, the Mary Gordon Nursing award will hopefully help out those nursing students who may be struggling financially, and could also serve as an incentive to bring more students to the nursing program at Douglas.
Canada is facing a nurse shortage. According to the Canadian Nurses Association, in 2007 Canada needed 11,000 more nurses to meet health-care requirement needs. The CNA reports that if no new policies are put in place to bring back more nurses into the field, Canada will be short almost 60,000 full-time equivalent registered nurses by the year 2022.
However, there are signs that the shortage is getting better. In a 2018 report from the Canadian Institute for Health, there was an increase in the amount of nursing graduates in the years 2008 to 2017. In 2018, there were 431,769 regulated nurses with a license to practice—12,283 of them were registered nurses. The nursing work force grew by 1.0 percent between 2017-2018. However, the annual growth rate has decreased since 2014—when it was growing at a rate of 2.2 percent.
The award will also serve as an encouragement to nursing students to do well in their studies.
“Douglas College is so thankful for Mary Gordon’s gift that will encourage future BSN students to excel in the studies, at the same time as exemplifying the essence of the nursing profession: caring, compassion, professional competence, and empathy,” said Dean of Health Sciences at Douglas College.
“This award recognizes the critically important role of nurses in providing excellence in healthcare to the residents of British Columbia.”