Fonds PR4146 - Nursing Sisters' Association of Canada fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Nursing Sisters' Association of Canada fonds

General material designation

    Parallel title

    Other title information

    Title statements of responsibility

    Title notes

    • Source of title proper: Title is based on the contents of the fonds.

    Level of description


    Reference code


    Edition area

    Edition statement

    Edition statement of responsibility

    Class of material specific details area

    Statement of scale (cartographic)

    Statement of projection (cartographic)

    Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

    Statement of scale (architectural)

    Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

    Dates of creation area


    • 1914-1994, predominant 1914-1922 (Creation)

    Physical description area

    Physical description

    1.8 m of textual records

    Publisher's series area

    Title proper of publisher's series

    Parallel titles of publisher's series

    Other title information of publisher's series

    Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

    Numbering within publisher's series

    Note on publisher's series

    Archival description area

    Name of creator

    (1920 - 1994)

    Administrative history

    The Nursing Sisters' Association of Canada was founded in 1928 (originally as the Overseas Nursing Sisters Association of Canada) as an association for nurses who had been deployed overseas during wartime. At the time of its formation, the Association's objectives were to stimulate friendship among members, work for national unity and international peace, and provide aid and comfort to nurses in need. After the First World War, nurses began organizing in several Canadian cities. Nurses in Edmonton, Alberta, were the first to form a group in April 1920, followed by groups in Montreal (1921), Calgary (1922), Winnipeg (1923), Toronto (1924), and other cities.

    At the Montreal Club's 1928 annual meeting, it was resolved that a letter would be sent out to all Canadian clubs and groups regarding the formation of a national association of nursing sisters. By July 8th, 1929, a tentative constitution and bylaws were accepted, and the term "Unit" was introduced to refer to localized groups of members. In June 1932, the national association reported six hundred and sixty-seven members. Their main activities at the time were concerned with the employment of overseas nurses in government hospitals and other government nursing services, hospitalization for nursing sisters, and other forms of help for those in need. The Association released its first Directory of Nursing Sisters in 1936.

    Members became involved in community projects between the wars, especially those focused on the well-being of people and veterans. The 1938-1940 Biennial reports show that war work had resumed as a result of the commencement of the Second World War. Member activities at this time included sorting and packing clothing and other supplies, voluntary hospital services, raising funds for ambulances, arranging entertainment for troops, and manning stamp and ration book centres. Others worked with the Red Cross, taught first-aid and home nursing with the St. John Ambulance, or acted as hostesses in servicemen's hostels. As the war continued, many members of the Association were called up for service in Canada and overseas.

    In March 1944, the Association's affiliation with the Canadian Legion was confirmed, and the Canadian Legion Charter was presented by the Legion's Dominion President, Alex Walker, to the Association's National President, Irene Barton. In 1946, the word "Overseas" was removed from the Association's name, and it was proposed that "all nursing sisters honorably discharged from the three military services shall be eligible for membership". With the end of the Second World War in 1945, another generation of nurses was welcomed to the Association.

    Since the end of the Second World War, the Association has remained as a point of connection between nurses who served in the armed forces of Canada or its allies during wartime. The Association continued to update its National Directory, with its most recent commemorative issue being published in 1994.

    Custodial history

    The fonds was held by the Provincial Archives of Alberta (accessions 69.299, 70.157, 70.226, 80.77) until it was transferred to the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses Archives and Museum in 1991 at the request of the Edmonton Unit, represented by Frances Ferguson Sutherland. Beatrice Cole Hunter, a member of the Edmonton Unit, donated the National Directory, commemorative issue, in 1994. The College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) donated the records to the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 2017.

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of the Association's constitution and by-laws; National and Edmonton Unit executive minutes; financial reports; correspondence; directories and pamphlets; tributes and medals; scrapbooks and news clippings; records and memorabilia of the Biennial Conference of the Nursing Sisters Association of Canada held in Edmonton (1994); Commemorative Issue National Directory of members produced to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Second World War.

    Notes area

    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition


    The PAA has retained CARNA’s organization structure for these materials, including their numerical filing system. The files within this collection were assigned numbers 91.21 and 94.31 and are currently accessible by those numbers.

    Language of material

      Script of material

        Location of originals

        Availability of other formats

        Restrictions on access


        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

        Finding aids

        File list is not available.

        Associated materials

        Related materials


        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        Part of PR2017.0642: the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta's donation to the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

        Alternative identifier(s)

        Standard number

        Standard number

        Access points

        Place access points

        Name access points

        Genre access points

        Control area

        Description record identifier

        Institution identifier


        Rules or conventions


        Level of detail

        Dates of creation, revision and deletion

        Language of description

          Script of description


            Accession area