School History

Okanagan College Origins

The roots of the current BSN curriculum date back to 1976, when the nursing program was initially founded as a two-and-a-half-year Registered Nurse diploma program at Okanagan College (OC). In 1989, with increasing recognition of the importance of a baccalaureate education for entry-to-practice, OC established a partnership with the University of Victoria, permitting students to receive instruction from OC nursing teachers and to graduate with a BSN degree from the University of Victoria.

Also, in 1989, OC, the University of Victoria, and three other colleges (Malaspina, Caribou, and Camosun) collaborated to develop an innovative four-year BSN curriculum. This partnership subsequently developed into the Collaboration for Academic Education in Nursing (CAEN), eventually expanding to include nine partner institutions in BC and the Northwest Territories.

In 1992, OC became Okanagan University College (OUC) and was granted the ability to award baccalaureate degrees.  Although the collaborative nursing curriculum continued to be shared with other partner institutions, graduates received their BSN degrees from OUC, rather than the University of Victoria.

Transition to UBC

In 2005, OUC was transitioned to UBCO and OC was re-instated as a tertiary education institution. After the transition, the School of Nursing at the Okanagan campus of UBC continued to offer the CAEN BSN program, rather than merging with the School of Nursing at the Vancouver campus. This has resulted in UBC having two separate and distinct Schools of Nursing: one on the Okanagan campus, and one on the Vancouver campus.

In 2005, UBCO received approval for a new Master of Science in Nursing program, which began to admit students in the fall of 2006.

In 2011, OC joined the CAEN Collaboration and partnered with UBCO to create a BSN 2 + 2 program. Annually, approximately 24 students are admitted to OC, where they complete Years 1 and 2 of the shared BSN curriculum before transferring to UBCO to complete the final two years. A formal UBCO-OC Block Transfer Agreement is in place to guarantee the transfer of up to 24 OC students who meet the requirements for admission into Year 3 of the UBCO BSN program and to outline the obligations of each site.

Visioning a New Curriculum

In 2012, the Schools of Nursing at UBCO and OC left the CAEN curriculum partnership, and the faculty began to consider revisions to the BSN curriculum. Although graduates from the BSN program were well regarded by employers, teachers recognized that the curriculum could be strengthened and updated. A curriculum review was initiated in 2013, and a steering committee was formed. Teachers from UBCO and OC participated in a Visioning Day, an environmental scan was conducted, and a wide range of stakeholders were consulted. The revised curriculum was developed collaboratively between the teachers at UBCO and OC, the respective institutions, and the health region. The first students were admitted into the revised curriculum at both sites in September 2015 and graduated in June 2019.