Alberta's first lay nurse: Mary Newton

Mary Newton is credited with being the first lay nurse in Alberta, although she certainly did have a connection with the Anglican church. She arrived at Hermitage, near Edmonton in the summer of 1886, having trained in London, England. She left her teaching job at the Queen Charlotte's Maternity Hospital in London when her health failed, and she came to Hermitage to recuperate at her brother's mission.

There was already a small log hospital there and Mary recovered her health and went quickly to work. In 1891, she put an advertisement in the paper saying that she would do nursing and midwifery in private homes--for ten dollars a week.