Mission, Vision, and Values

The UBC School of Nursing provides leadership and innovation in integrated nursing education, research, knowledge exchange, and practice to advance individual, family, community, and population health. 

Vision 2020
Excellence in leading edge nursing education, research, and practice in an exceptional learning environment.

The UBC School of Nursing is committed to:

  • Justice and equity
  • Engagement
  • Excellence
  • Responsiveness

Making communities healthier, safer, and stronger

Land acknowledgement

Our students and graduates work and learn in a variety of settings and on indigenous lands all over the world, but it all begins here at the School, located on the Point Grey campus in Vancouver. We gratefully acknowledge that our students, faculty, and staff gather on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territories of the Coast Salish people, particularly the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nations. In our work and in our curriculum, the School of Nursing at UBC is committed to enacting the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and to upholding the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. The School aims to increase the number of Indigenous health care providers in Canada and works to improve indigenous health and cultural safety and humility for all nurses. A number of our faculty focus on indigenous health, working in partnership to address the concerns of Indigenous peoples, to confront inequities in the health care system, and to advocate for changes that will benefit all Canadians.

Statement on Racism

June 2020

As nurses, as a School of Nursing, we cannot and should not remain silent when acts of racist violence and hatred affect the health and lives of people in our communities. We stand together in condemning all acts of racism, including anti-Black, anti-Asian, and anti-Indigenous racism. We especially condemn the structural racism and violence enacted by those in positions of public service, including in law enforcement, in health care, and in universities.

We recognize that over our 100 years as a School on unceded lands, we have been part of systems of entrenched racism and white privilege, even while our commitment as nurses is to promote health for all. We must continue to work together to eliminate racist practices and oppressive systems in nursing, and in nursing education. As a School, we have a longstanding commitment to health equity, supported by our Canadian nursing code of ethics, which calls on nurses to “improve systems and societal structures to create greater equity and better health.” We reaffirm our intentions to work with others to transform education, health care, and society—including here at UBC.

This is a time to intensify our efforts. We commit to coming together as faculty, staff, and students to reflect, to share our progress already made, to identify further actions we will take together in standing against racism, and to develop a timeline for those actions. Together we will create a more inclusive School community, where we celebrate and draw on the diversity that is our strength.

UBC Vancouver School of Nursing Position StatementAddressing Indigenous-Specific Racism and Discrimination in BC Health Care

The report In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-Specific Racism and Discrimination in BC Health Care, led by Dr. M.E Turpel-Lafond (Aki-Kwe) confirmed the widespread existence of systemic racism experienced by Indigenous Peoples across all levels of the BC health care system. Aligned with nursing’s ethical obligations to end systemic racism and promote equity and safety for the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples, we affirm that the UBC School of Nursing is taking a leadership role in educating nurses to mitigate the harms, and to actively work to end anti-Indigenous racism and discrimination in health care.

Read the Full Statement


Founded in 1919, the UBC School of Nursing was one of the first programs established at the University of British Columbia.

The School’s founding director was Ethel Johns, an internationally recognized educator, public health researcher, writer and advocate for social justice. Her insistence on a baccalaureate-level  nursing program lead to the establishment of the first university degree program for nurses in the Commonwealth. Four nurses graduated in the School’s first baccalaureate class.

Today, 120 men and women annually enter the undergraduate program, and in 2019 the School of Nursing will mark our 100th anniversary, recognizing a century of preparing nurses for careers in professional practice, education and research which make our communities healthier and safer, and stronger.

To recognize her invaluable role in promoting equality and advancing public health, the Government of Canada officially recognized Ethel Johns as a Person of National Historical Significance. 

Looking for more historical information?

To learn more about the history of the UBC School of Nursing, contact the archivist to arrange a viewing of nursing artifacts donated through the years. To learn more about the BC History of Nursing Society, email them or visit their website.

Legacy: 100 years of nursing education in BC

The School of Nursing also has copies – available by donation – of the book, Legacy, which documents nursing education in British Columbia over the last 100 years. Both authors of this book are graduates of UBC's School of Nursing.  Glennis Zilm went on to a career as a writer, editor and journalist. Ethel Warbinek became a faculty member and has had a long association with the School. Both are active members of provincial and national history of nursing associations.

Contact the Director's Assistant to get your copy of Legacy.