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STORIES / Bernice Redmon

Bernice Redmon

Bernice Redmon, appointed to the Victorian Order of Nurses in Canada, was a trailblazer in public health as the first Black Canadian nurse. Through her advocacy work, she paved the way for other Black women to work in Ontario hospitals.

A portrait illustration of Bernice Redmon.


Toronto-born Bernice Redmon was the first Black Canadian nurse to practice in public health. Having faced racial barriers in Canadian nursing programs, she pursued a nursing diploma in the United States in 1945. Returning to Canada with a diploma, she secured a position in the Nova Scotia Department of Health. Her groundbreaking career earned Redmon a historic appointment to the Victorian Order of Nurses in Canada, making her the first Black woman to receive this honour. Her courageous efforts paved the way for Black women to be trained and employed in Ontario hospitals during the late 1940s and 1950s.

Redmon’s resilience and dedication left an enduring impact on the nursing profession in Canada.

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