Dr. Majorie McIntyre

Dr. Majorie McIntyre

As I reflect on 50 years in nursing, several highlights seem worthy of mention. Initially I earned a nursing diploma, practiced in surgical and oncology nursing, finished a baccalaureate, worked as a nurse educator in two community colleges, completed a MN and PhD, and became a professor at two different universities.  

At some point along the way, mentors convinced me that education was the way to influence the change I thought important, and this conviction has continued to inspire me to accomplish many things. 

My first opportunity came as a diploma nurse to replace a nurse educator who was on leave. I loved it and went on complete my BSN at the University of Victoria. Professors there encouraged me to continue my education. By the time I had completed my MN at the University of British Columbia, I was already looking ahead to doctoral work, somehow believing familiarity with research would better prepare me not only to teach, but to influence the changes I thought were needed in healthcare. Somewhere along this journey I began to identify with underserved populations — first, people living with intractable cancer pain and later, people living full time with chronic illness, who felt their lives were not understood by professionals or by their families and friends.  

Early in my first academic position at the University of Calgary, I recognized that our reliance on American textbooks, particularly in the area of political, social, and healthcare issues, was not serving our students well. I began to negotiate with publishing houses, advocating for them to seek out Canadian authors. This resulted in an invitation to be that author myself. Not for a moment did I feel I could, so I began building a team that could offer an edited volume of Canadian content. Over the years, it has yielded five editions used in many nursing programs across the countryThe writing, research, and editing of The Realities of Canadian Nursing text has been a highlight of my career, through which I established many collegial relationships, broadened my knowledge, and had opportunities to network nationally and internationally with academics and students. 

In my own graduate education I became completely captured by the notion of nursing theory. When I left my BN program I was still stuttering about what a theory might be; however, my MN and doctoral studies left me completely attached to the importance of theory, which has simultaneously made my career more meaningful and often challenged by others.  

I spent ten years at the University of Calgary, flourishing in my work and engaged with very committed students at all levels, but always longing to return to the West Coast. In 2003 an opportunity arose at the University of Victoria, which I was thrilled to accept. The change from a larger very traditional university to UVic was overwhelming at times, but has been a wonderful milieu in which to wrap up my career. I have many great memories of the people I worked alongside in the School of Nursing. In retirement I became a hospice volunteer, which in some way took me back to my original love of working with people who benefit from nursing care at the end of life.