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Bedside Matters: Colour Bars and Canadian Nursing

bedside matters: In 1931, 99.8 per cent of Canadian graduate nurses identified as having British, French or European ancestry, Kathryn McPherson notes in Bedside Matters The Transformation of Canadian Nursing, 1900-1990, according to Toronto Star. The history professor at York University writes that the historical lack of diversity in the profession can be traced to immigration restrictions as well as racial discrimination from nursing schools unwritten colour bars that came to light only when challenged. With little exception, everyone was white. In the 1931 census, Canadians with British, European and French ancestry accounted for 98.2 per cent of the population. That day, the women wore white dresses and pinned black bands on their starched caps, walking two by two to U of T's Convocation Hall. Agnes Clinton is pictured on graduation day 1951, the first Black graduate of the Women's College school. ( As reported in the news.