A Caring Profession: Centuries of Nursing in Canada

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2005-2006: Special Exhibitions Gallery E

This exhibition will explore the history of vocational and professional nursing in Canada, from New France to the present. It will bring together the two parallel but separate nursing traditions in Canada, the religious Catholic model and the secular British-inspired model.

Since the founding of the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital in Quebec in 1639, nurses have had a profound effect on the quality of Canadian life. Whether in the hospital, in the home, on the battlefield or in a remote outpost, Canadian nurses have cared for the sick and suffering. This exhibition will be the first to tell the whole story of nursing across Canada, including each province and territory.

A Caring Profession will foster an appreciation of the unique contributions of Canadian nursing. It will not just be a celebration of nursing, but rather will integrate issues and controversies into the storyline, including the power struggle between doctors and nurses, and the current crisis in nursing.