Royal Columbian Nurses Alumnae Association

The Royal Columbian Hospital School of Nursing existed from 1901 – 1978.


In 1944 Beth McCann, who at the time was a graduate of the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing, came to her friend and RCH graduate, Agnes “Gussy” MacPhail, about forming an alumnae association. It didn’t take long before this idea became a reality, and the RCH School of Nursing Alumnae Association was born.

Over the next few years the Association would become a bastion of support for a whole student body. They were ushers, helpers, and even shouldered the financial burden of graduation buy purchasing caps for the grads. They helped students get over the hump with small interest free loans that went towards things like buying shoes, glasses, or even more extreme cases like dental work.

Beyond helping students charitable donations from the Alumnae Association did a wide range of good in the nursing community. They did everything from refurnishing the chapel in the 1962 Sherbrooke residence to paying for a student’s trip from Trinidad to England for further Education.

In 2007 the RCH Alumnae Associate was granted charitable status, and accepted donations from any interested party. The Alumnae established a nursing award with Douglas College Foundation and an award with RCH Foundation (see award opportunities).

Nurses Alumnae Association Executive

President: Eileen Brown 78B 604-526-1559

Vice President: Sue Hall 75B

Secretary: Diane Barnhill 71B 604-985-8194

Treasurer: Eva Aslin 78B 604-942-9658

Membership: Carol Schmidt 78B 778-789-0497

Sick etc: Marilyn McCutcheon 604-936-8432

Archives: Anne Kern 73B


RCH Nurses Alumnae Newsletter August 2023

RCH Nurses Alumnae Newsletter June 2022

RCH Nurses Alumnae Newsletter April 2022

RCH Nurses Alumnae Newsletter November 2020

RCH Nurses Alumnae Association Newsletter spring 2020 – Final

revised MEMBERSHIP DUES_1 per page

RCH Alumnae update spring 2020
Spring 2019


Award opportunities

The Royal Columbian Nurses Alumnae Association offers two different bursaries every year:


The Royal Columbian Nurses Alumnae Association has established the Royal Columbian Nurses Alumnae Association Gussie MacPhail Education Fund to support nursing education for staff of Royal Columbian Hospital. Specifically, it will finance the Nurses Alumnae Association Gussie MacPhail Award. This award will be given, on an annual basis, to an employee of Royal Columbian Hospital who is actively pursuing a Baccalaureate Nursing Degree, Masters Nursing Degree, or Specialty Certification to assist with education costs.

Preference for the award is as follows:
1) students pursuing a Baccalaureate Nursing Degree
2) students pursuing Specialty Certification
3) students pursuing a Masters Nursing Degree.

To meet eligibility, the employee must have been employed for at least two years of full time or the equivalent part time hours (i.e. 3400 hours).

To donate in support of the Gussie Macphail Award, please complete the online form at the bottom of this webpage.

Royal Columbian Hospital Nurses Alumnae Award

To make a donation to our award for a nursing student at Douglas College:
• Online at Douglas College Foundation
o Under Fund designation on the Douglas College Foundation website donation form, choose “Other” and in the Comments section type Royal Columbian Hospital Nurses Alumnae Award
• By phone by contacting Douglas College Foundation Annual Giving Officer Sherrill Cairns at 604-777-6176
• By mail, send a cheque to Douglas College Foundation PO Box 2503, New Westminster, BC, V3L5B2 (include a letter stipulating which award you are donating to)