50 Years of BCIT Nursing: A flashback with 1970 Nursing alumnus

It was 1970. BCIT students wore jackets and ties to class and campus parking was plentiful. Morrie Steele was one of two male students preparing to graduate from the newly created BCIT Nursing program.

The new two year Nursing program at BCIT was shorter than the three year program at Vancouver General Hospital and considerably cheaper than UBC – which suited Morrie perfectly. With a year of general sciences at UBC and five years working in psych nursing at Riverview hospital already on his list of accomplishments, Morrie was eager to pursue his diploma and further his nursing career.

“The program only took 22 months and we got the month of August off. Back then casual employment didn’t exist in healthcare so we couldn’t work during that vacation month.”

Morrie Steele
Morrie Steele

One of the things Morrie appreciated most about Nursing at BCIT was the instructors. “Faculty were so very committed and it made a huge difference to how we were supported. Most of the instructors had come over from the program at St. Paul’s Hospital so they had a lot of good experience to pass on to the students.”

While Morrie went on from BCIT to earn his bachelor’s degree at UBC and his masters from the University of Portland, he still feels that going to BCIT was one of the best choices he ever made. “BCIT was a different way to prepare nurses. The employment world wasn’t really ready for us – some were skeptical – but they turned around when they saw the quality of our skills.” Even 50 years ago, BCIT was already developing a reputation for providing nursing graduates that were job-ready, just as we do today.

“The microbiology was outstanding and the A&P [Anatomy and Physiology] course was very good. We also had a communications class where we read current literature and a sociology class. It was stimulating to have so many supporting courses.”

With 50 years of experience teaching Nurses, BCIT’s Nursing program is a great choice for education that will prepare you for a dynamic career. Learn more about BCIT Nursing.

Nursing and BCIT have both changed dramatically in the past 50 years but our reputation for high quality education, real-world skills training, and supportive faculty is something the BCIT Nursing program, and the institute as a whole, will continue to uphold for decades to come.

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