Judy Junor

Judy Junor, a Saskatchewan nurse, has had a very diverse career. She graduated from St. Paul's School of Nursing in Saskatoon in 1969; a member of the very last class to come out of St. Paul's. Junor enjoyed her nursing training, but did not enjoy the rules and regulations that came with it. Nursing students were required to live in residence, even those who had been living in Saskatoon. In the late sixties, a time when many youths were finding freedom, nursing students were still required to adhere to strict and early curfews. There were also very strict rules about dating. Students could not wash their hair immediately prior to a date because it would be too sexually stimulating to do so. A deck of cards was to be taken just in case there was nothing to do. Urine samples were taken monthly to determine if any of the students was pregnant. The samples were tested unbeknownst to students. At the time, Junor remembers wondering how the nuns would know that a student was pregnant before even the student did. Although Junor reflects fondly on the actual nursing training, she remembers being very unhappy living in residence and became the first student able to live at home.

After finishing her nursing training, Junor worked in obstetrics at City Hospital in Saskatoon. She loved working on this unit and loved her profession in general. In 1977, Junor quit to spend time with her young children, but went back to nursing in 1986 after taking a refresher course. Before taking the time to spend with her family, the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) had just come into existence and Junor had not been active in the union. When she came back to nursing, she became the SUN ward representative and eventually was talked into being the secretary for the union local. From this point, her union career seemed to take very logical steps. She ran for president of the local in 1991 and in 1993 was asked to run for presidency of the provincial union.

Junor enjoyed her time as president of SUN, commenting that she liked the idea of moving nursing forward in the public eye. In 1998, she was approached to run for politics. As of 2005, Junor still works as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). As an elected official, Junor is in a unique position with respect to the health care field because of her experience as a front-line health worker. She enjoys the fact that health personnel can come to her knowing that she has worked in a hospital and knows some of the issues from that side Being the first nurse to enter politics as an MLA, Junor has been an asset to the government with her intimate knowledge of the health care system.