Western Regional School of Nursing celebrates its golden anniversary

May 11, 2021

The Western Regional School of Nursing is celebrating a significant milestone- 50 years since the first graduating class.


The Western Regional School of Nursing, a division of Western Health, has a long history of nursing education in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The anniversary will be marked throughout the year with events that both look toward the future of the program and reflect on the past 50 years.

“I’m excited to help the Western Regional School of Nursing and Grenfell Campus kick mark this significant milestone,” said Dr. Jeff Keshen, vice-president, Grenfell Campus. “We have a special relationship with Western Regional School of Nursing, as we offer their programs in collaboration with other schools at the campus, allowing their students the benefit of both a practical education and diverse academic offerings.  The nursing school is an integral part of our campus community, and we are proud of the excellent work of the faculty, staff and students in that discipline.”

The first class of just over 30 students began their careers as nurses back in 1971 at Monaghan Hall. Since then, the school has seen more than 2,000 graduates.

“There are so many things we can celebrate throughout the last 50 years,” said Michelle House, interim CEO of Western Health. “The Western Regional School of Nursing provides high quality nursing education and has been instrumental in meeting a critical need for nurses in a variety of roles and settings. Nurses who have graduated from the school of nursing continue to have a positive impact in health care. Working collaborative with other health care professions, nurses have a huge impact on the lives of people they encounter as well as the health care system.”

A timeline marking significant accomplishments of the nursing school and opportunities for nursing alumni to reconnect with each other, will be provided throughout the coming months.

“I’m delighted to be marking this milestone, surrounded by such great colleagues and inspiring students,” said Peggy Colbourne, director of the Western Regional School of Nursing. “We’ve continually adapted our program to recognize the comprehensive knowledge, critical thinking and clinical judgement that nurses need to be leaders in health care. Over the past 50 years, our students and faculty have been advocates for nursing, nursing education, research and health care, and they have greatly contributed to our communities, provincially, nationally and around the world.”

To learn more about celebrations and events, please visit www.grenfell.mun.ca/wrson50.