Barney Hickey RN, BSN, MSN. 1960 - 2012

It was with great sadness that faculty of the Langara Nursing School learned of Barney’s passing. Towards the end of his teaching career of 8 years at Langara College Barney was teaching mental health in term 8, Consolidation 2 of the Bachelor in Nursing Science program. Within a few months, after several interventions, a lung carcinoma with bone metastasis was finally discovered. In the last several months of his life Barney bravely struggled for a quality of life to actively continue to care for family, friends, ex-students, colleagues and his care-givers. As he fought his illness he organized his wedding to his beloved partner and lived every minute of every day fully right up to his passing. He passed away at home, sitting peacefully in his wheelchair in the early morning of July 9, 2012. 

Barney, with his lively eyes, charming smile, colorful character, he was a consummate professional, a role model as he pushed boundaries, never shying away from difficult sensitive issues. Having contracted HIV in the eighties did not stop him from his commitment to nursing, learning, teaching and advocating for better health for all Canadians and specifically for marginalized populations. During his life time, Barney had a profound effect on so many people; he was at his best when advocating for and teaching mental health, pioneering promotion of legal rights of persons with HIV/AIDS with such passion and compassion.   

This is how most of us as colleagues came to know him and learned to respect and admire his ability to patiently educate us and his determination to champion quality health care for all. Barney’s exceptional contributions to development of HIV/AIDS care earned him the “Award of Excellence” In 2001 from the Canadian Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (CANAC). He was an ex-president of the organization at the provincial and the national levels. In 2002 Barney was an honored recipient of the “Award of Excellence in Nursing Practice” from the Registered Nurses Association of BC (RNABC).

Barney Hickey Memorial Bursary:

This award made possible by donations from Barney’s family, friends and nursing faculty was created to support students from the Langara School of Nursing interested in participating in professional health conferences. Applications can be received from students at any level of the nursing program. If you wish to contribute to this award, please contact the Langara College Foundation:, call 604-323-5948, or drop by their office, A171.