Centenary Medal – Ethel Warbinek

Ethel Warbinek graduated from the VGH School of Nursing and UBC with both a BSN and MSN. Her career as a clinical nurse educator started at VGH and in 1970, she joined the UBC School of Nursing faculty where she remained for 25 years.

Ethel was a leader in undergraduate and graduate education in acute care nursing. She taught UBC’s first “outreach” lecture, televised live on the Knowledge Network. An active researcher, she published papers on clinical teaching and peripheral vascular nursing and served on numerous School of Nursing and UBC faculty committees.

Ethel was involved in professional groups such as the RNABC Richmond-Delta Chapter, RNABC Board, Nursing Division UBC Alumni and the Society for Peripheral Vascular Nursing. Along with co-author Glennis Zilm, she wrote “Legacy: History of Nursing Education at the University of British Columbia 1919-1994”. A triumph of historical documentation produced on the occasion of the School’s 75th anniversary, this book remains a treasure, highly cited and referenced today.

Today, Ethel’s major focus is as a historical researcher. A member of the BC History of Nursing Society, she chaired the Oral History Project conducting more than 25 interviews of BC nurses. As the biographical committee chair, she collected invaluable information on the experiences of BC’s nurses. Ethel organized the UBC School’s collection of historical materials including irreplaceable artifacts. As a member of the VGH School of Nursing Alumnae, Ethel chaired the Archive and Publicity committees and was instrumental in setting up and maintaining the Alumnae’s website. She continues to support the School and the Nursing Alumni with her enthusiastic historical exploration.