A Nurse for All Seasons

Elizabeth Robinson Scovil 1849-1934
New Brunswick’s Pioneer of Professional Nursing

Virginia Bliss Bjerkelund

In 1878, at the age of 29, Elizabeth Robinson Scovil decided she did not want to spend the rest of her life serving tea and cucumber sandwiches at Anglican Church events in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Overcoming her mother’s fears and disapproval, she applied and was accepted for a new two-year nurses’ training program at Massachusetts General Hospital.

She began writing and publishing on nursing and nursing education while still a student. On graduation she launched into practice and within a few years was Superintendent of nurses’ training at Newport Rhode Island Hospital.

A Nurse for All Seasons is the vocational and intellectual biography of this remarkable woman, a woman who strode out of the Victorian Era on a mission that helped open the way for the feminist movement and the rise of gender equality as a fundamental human right.

Author, Virginia Bliss Bjerkelund, introduced her Great Aunt as a main character in the non-fiction novel, Meadowlands: A Chronicle of the Scovil Family. She has now given us the rest of the story. With extensive quotation from her books, journalism, lectures, and letters, the significance of Elizabeth Robinson Scovil’s life and legacy comes alive in this biography and takes its place in the history of nursing and in the heritage of progressive social change.

About the Author

Virginia Bliss Bjerkelund is a Maritimer, born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, educated in Fredericton, New Brunswick, followed by nearly 30 years of living in England where she married and brought up a daughter and son, now both retired. She returned to Fredericton, re-married, travelled widely, practiced Social Work, and is active in the cultural life of the city.

Virginia Bliss Bjerkelund – Photo by Peter Bjerkelund

Paperback • 342 pages • $30(CAD), $24(USD) • ISBN 978-1-988299-52-5 • Published 2023/10/24