1st Nursing Correspondence
is renowned for its ingenuity with respect to health care. The University
of Saskatchewan upheld this reputation when it established, in 1976, the first
correspondence course in nursing at any Canadian university. The course
was a short course in preventive health care and was offered through the University
Department of Correspondence Courses.
health was a growing field at this time and many nurses who had already taken
their education did not have experience in either preventive or community health. "In
the College's old five-year degree program, which was phased out in 1971, community
nursing was an optional subject and some of the students, as well as some from
other universities, graduated without experience in this growing field. As
a result...they are at a disadvantage if they wish to seek community nursing
positions in health regions or elsewhere" (The Sheaf).
1970s, newer research was indicating that preventive medicine was more effective
than the curative form of medicine which had been used as a primary method
of treating illness. Preventive medicine focuses on keeping an individual
healthy through health promotion and disease prevention while curative medicine
focuses on treating individuals who are already ill. In 1975, a nursing
program with emphasis on preventive care was very progressive.
course was followed up with a full course at Intersession or during the summer
semester on community health nursing. The full course was taken at either
the Regina or Saskatoon campus.
The objective of
the correspondence course [was] to help the nurses understand their role
in a changing health delivery system that is placing increasing emphasis
on preventive health. Health requirements [were to] be analyzed
in terms of such factors as basic human needs, the environment and quality
of life, disease and disaster...Among the topics to be taken up [were] prevention
versus cure, the use of research, program planning and interdisciplinary approaches
as well as developments underway in the Canadian health delivery system, including
changed in required services and educational methods. In addition,
attention [was] given to relations with the media and co-operation between
volunteers and professionals (The Sheaf).