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Foothills Hospital School of Nursing

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Foothills Hospital School of Nursing

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The Foothills Hospital School of Nursing admitted its first class of student nurses in 1965 and held its last graduation in 1995. During its years of operation 2,488 men and women graduated from the diploma program.

The mandate of the School of Nursing was to prepare entry-level nurses with the skills needed to provide quality patient care in both acute and long-term care settings, and to provide opportunities for the continuing education of experienced nurses.

In order to provide a comprehensive nursing education, the School had affiliation agreements with a number of facilities in Calgary and the surrounding area such as the University of Calgary. This included the provision of University taught courses for the School, and, beginning in 1985, an articulation program which allowed students who had finished their first year at the School to transfer to the second year of the baccalaureate nursing program at the University.

Until the mid-1980s the shool offered one course of study, the Basic (Diploma) Program, a comprehensive three-year program teaching fundamental skills required in the practise of nursing. Subsequently the school offered the Refresher Program (1984-1990) for nurses returning to the nursing profession, and a certificate Post-Basic program (1985-1995). The School also participated with Mount Royal College and the University of Calgary in the planning, development and initiation of the Calgary Conjoint Nursing Program (CCNP). The first two years of the program were taught at the School of Nursing, beginning in 1993.

Responsibility for the overall organization and administration of the School and its educational programs from 1963 to 1968 was held by an Associate Director of Nursing Education, who reported to the Director of Nursing at Foothills Hospital who, in turn, reported to the Hospital Administration. In later years, the head of the School reported to the Hospital Administration through an Assistant Executive Director (ca. 1979), and subsequently through the Vice President, Nursing and Patient Services. By 1972 the Associate Director's title had been changed to Director of Nursing Education. When the Director resigned in 1993, the management of the school continued under a management team comprised of the Manager, Program Resources, Supervisor, Administrative Services, and the Curriculum Coordinator.

In response to the provincial Ministry of Advanced Education and Career Development's decision to close diploma schools of nursing and to reduce student enrolment and grants to nursing education, the Foothills Hospital announced in 1994 plans to close the Foothills Hospital School of Nursing and its basic diploma nursing program. The school closed on July 1, 1995, and withdrew drom CCNP. It transferred its post-basic nursing education programs and the CCNP's diploma option to the Department of Nursing and Allied Health, Mount Royal College. Mount Royal College and the University of Calgary assumed responsibilty for CCNP nursing students. The closing of the Foothills Hospital School of Nursing marked the end of the era of hospital-based nursing education in Calgary.

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