Sue Rothwell passed away in Victoria September 9, 2013, after a battle with lung cancer.
Sue earned her undergraduate degree in nursing at Cornell University, and later received a master’s degree at the University of California. She was a Director of Nursing at the Cancer Control Agency of British Columbia (now the BC Cancer Agency) and held positions of leadership in various professional associations. Sue was President of the Registered Nurses Association of BC and first vice-president of the Canadian Nurses Association. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Nurses Association.
Sue Rothwell was a faculty member in the UBC School of Nursing in the 1970s and was recruited from the University of California by Dr. Muriel Uprichard, a former Director of the School of Nursing. At UBC Sue taught advanced physical assessment skills with a goal of preparing nurses for an advanced practice role in the health care system.
Sue was the coordinator for the UBC School of Nursing continuing education program before being recruited to the Cancer Control Agency of British Columbia. She held that prominent leadership role for several years, and then went on to consulting for health authorities and ministries for much of the rest of her career. Sue was hired by the Ministry of Health to assist with the Primary Care Demonstration Project which aimed to show the value of the Nurse Practitioner in primary care. Sue was active in work that supported the implementation of Nurse Practitioners in BC and although she was not an NP herself, she was always interested in the role and supportive to those who were teaching and practicing in this capacity.
She was an outspoken, blunt, charismatic and opinionated nurse who left her mark on the profession.