History of Alberta’s Licensed Practical Nurses

The Special History Edition of CARE magazine centers on the fascinating, previously-undocumented history of practical nurses in Alberta, Canada.

Researchers dived deep and found stories, documents, and pictures that reveal the long road travelled by this nursing profession.

Everything is pulled together around a timeline of significance eras that mirror the province’s and country’s history:

  • Establishing a Profession (1947-1960)
  • New Demands & Changing Expectations (1961-1975)
  • Conflict & Consolidation (1976-1985)
  • Beginning of Self-Regulation (1986-2003)
  • Reshaping the Profession (2004-2020)

Additional research done for the Special History Edition is included in the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta’s Ongoing History of Alberta’s Licensed Practical Nurses:

DOWNLOAD – Ongoing History of Alberta’s LPNs

The rich — and, at times, surprising — history of Alberta’s licensed practical nurses stretches back over more than seven decades. What began as a straightforward post-war occupation for women is better understood today as a highly competent nursing profession defined by regulatory excellence.
This history has been shaped by legislation, amalgamation, salary negotiations, rules, regulations, discipline, court decisions, registration and wider healthcare needs. At its core, though, that history much like nursing itself – hinges on human stories. The people who championed and pushed the profession forward over the years saw possibilities where others saw problems. They could look at a temporary barracks in post-war Calgary and imagine a training ground for healthcare workers…; they believed a vocation could and must change with time; they were emboldened to gamble when others turned away; and they knew that education was the key to everything. Without these people, the province’s licensed practical nurses might have quietly slipped into the past. They didn’t. — Special History Edition, CARE Magazine, June 2020

Nursing history is made every day

Email Sign Up

Sign up for the CLPNA’s weekly emails to learn more about the latest regulation, policy, practice, continuing education, and registration news.