College of Nursing

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College of Nursing Faculty Member Publishes "A Portrait of Saskatchewan Nurses in Military Times"

December 5, 2012

Sandra Bassendowski Book Cover

Saskatchewan nurses have a long history of enlisting and serving in the military. Working overseas in military hospitals and casualty clearing stations, these nurses played an integral role during military times. In 1917, lacking equality and the right to vote, nurses formed a professional licensing body, while working tirelessly to provide safe and competent care to the citizens of Saskatchewan. When the call came to enlist, many nurses volunteered for war and many remained at home to take care of the individuals, families and communities in Saskatchewan.

The nursing profession, as we know it today, has evolved from changes and decisions made by brave and innovative nurses of the past. A Portrait of Saskatchewan Nurses in Military Times is a historical book focusing on the lives and experiences of many Saskatchewan nurses, who served both at home and overseas during World Wars I and II. Authored by College of Nursing faculty member, Dr. Sandra Bassendowski, with contributions from nursing students from the Nursing Education Program of Saskatchewan (NEPS), this book delves into the past, giving readers a different perspective of the nursing profession.

"As one of the contributing authors, and as a nursing student fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to work with Sandra Bassendowski, I cannot articulate how illuminating this experience has been", said April Mackey. She went on to say "it is terrifying to imagine traveling overseas in a time when planes only had rudimentary equipment, when U-boats lurked in the dark waters of the Atlantic and when bombs fell close to military hospitals. Despite these incredible circumstances, thousands of nurses undertook this adventure in the name of patient care".

The stories assembled in this book, told by both nurses and their families, will touch your soul. A Portrait of Saskatchewan Nurses in Military Times compels those in the profession to put themselves in the shoes of nurses who practiced and still practice in military times.

Available for purchase now, all proceeds from book sales go towards a bursary with the Saskatchewan Nurses Foundation. Books can be purchased for $30 cash (plus $15 shipping if required) directly from Sandra Bassendowski in Regina at or from the Saskatchewan Nurses Foundation. In Saskatoon, books can be purchased for pick-up by emailing