Class members gathered in Grand Pre to reminisce and celebrate the occasion.
The three-year diploma program was one of several in Nova Scotia at that time. It was roughly divided between gaining knowledge in the classroom and honing practical skills in the hospital setting.
In the first six months of the program, after learning some basic skills, students added one weekend day “on the wards” to their weekly classroom schedule. This resulted in one day off per week ... either Saturday or Sunday.
Nursing students spent 10 months during the program elsewhere in the province to become acquainted with different specialties.
Three months each were spent at the Nova Scotia Hospital in Dartmouth, the Halifax Children's Hospital (it predated the IWK) and the Grace Maternity, also in Halifax. One month was spent at the Nova Scotia Sanitorium in Kentville.
Each school had a distinctive uniform and cap. The uniform was worn to class, as well as in the hospital setting. The cap was significant and was worn with pride. In recognition of the fact that nurses were “Centennial Grads”, the diploma displays the 1967 Centennial symbol. Two of the classmates were able to attend Expo 67 in Montreal.
Graduate Vicki O’Neil says the changes in the world around us and in the world of nursing over the past 50 years can only be described as phenomenal.
“As a class we reflect that we have adapted to both, and we are grateful for the gift of memories.”