Skip to main content

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Nursing Shifts in Sichuan

Canadian Missions and Wartime China, 1937–1951

The story of how student refugees worked with missionaries to transform Chinese healthcare during World War II. 
Escaping from Japanese-occupied China during World War II, the students and faculty at Peking Union Medical College found refuge at the Canadian mission in Chengdu, Sichuan. In the years that followed, the college and mission worked together to care for an extraordinary influx of wartime refugees. Their unlikely partnership transformed Chinese healthcare, establishing the second university nursing program in the country. Although the new Communist government shuttered the school in 1951, the women they trained endured to reopen degree programs thirty-five years later. In our contemporary era, marked by increasing global exchanges in education, Nursing Shifts in Sichuan highlights both the fragility and resilience of impromptu, multinational collaboration.

320 pages | 15 halftones, 13 tables, 1 map, 1 chart | 6 x 9

History: Asian History



“This is an important book and a riveting story.”

Sioban Nelson, University of Toronto

Nursing Shifts in Sichuan is truly hard to put down! This is an exciting read, albeit sometimes a sad one, written by an outstanding scholar of nursing, religion, and mission. Social history at its best.”

Barbra Mann Wall, University of Virginia

Table of Contents


Part 1: Before the PUMC Closure

1 China Calling (1914–1933)

2 Unsettling Nursing (1932–1940)

3 Shifting Missions (1936–1940)

4 The Bomb that Changed Everything (1940–1942)

Part 2: After the PUMC Closure

5 Starting over in West China (1943–1945)

6 Fighting the Foundation’s "Darling Child" (1943–1946)

7 "Our Triumphant Return" (1946–1949)

8 The Last Chapter (1949–1951)


Appendix 1 List of Nurses at the West China Mission

Appendix 2 PUMC Nursing Faculty to 1949

Appendix 3 List of All Interned Nurses in China

Appendix 4 PUMC Nursing Graduates to 1939

Notes; References; Index

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press