University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine
Photo of Thora Gerow
Thora Gerow. Photo by James Poremba

Thora Gerow Mentored Hundreds of Nurses

The U of T alumna was one of the first nurse practitioners in Ontario, and advocated for the women in her profession her entire life

At the age of eight, Thora (“Jerry”) Gerow declared to her mother that she was going to be a nurse. She surpassed her own dreams: Gerow became one of the first nurse practitioners in Ontario, and, over her 55-year career, helped countless patients, mentored hundreds of nurses and helped found the Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario (NPAO) in 1973. “My life was nursing,” she told Bloomberg Nursing’s Pulse Magazine in 2015.

Gerow (DipPN 1947, DipPHN 1951) served as a Nursing Sister in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. After earning two nursing diplomas at U of T, Gerow worked for a decade at the Hospital for Sick Children. She then returned to the university to prepare to be a nurse practitioner (a role that requires additional education to an RN, and allows one to perform such duties as prescribing medication). Before long, advocating for nurse practitioners, and protecting and expanding their role within the health-care system, became Gerow’s passion: she not only help found the NPAO, but served as its membership director for two decades.

Even after retiring, Gerow kept fighting on behalf of nurses: She advocated renaming the clinic in her retirement home from “medical centre” to “health service” – explaining that the former put the emphasis on doctors, but nurses did most of the work. She succeeded in getting the name changed.

Recent Posts

Photo of front campus field and Convocation Hall with flower emoji illustrations floating above

Clearing the Air

U of T wants to drastically cut carbon emissions by 2050. It’s enlisting on-campus ingenuity for help

Abstract illustration showing a red-coloured body and face, with small black and white pieces flowing from inside body out of the mouth, and the U.S. Capitol Building dangling on puppet strings from one hand

The Extremism Machine

Online disinformation poses a danger to society. Researchers at U of T’s Citizen Lab are tracking it – and trying to figure out how to stop it

Prof. Mark V. Campbell with a beige background and red lighting

Charting Hip Hop’s Course

Professor Mark V. Campbell grew up during the early years of rap music. Now, he is helping preserve Canadian hip-hop culture for future generations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *