VICTORIA -- A new bursary has been created at Victoria’s Camosun College in honour of a local nurse who recently and suddenly died after a lengthy career in the Royal Jubilee Hospital’s emergency room.

The registered nurse, Irene McKinlay, graduated from Camosun’s nursing program in the 1980s.

According to Camosun College, the newly announced bursary was created by “an overwhelming number” of health-care workers, family members and friends who wanted to remember McKinlay.

In total, the group contributed more than $24,000 to the Camosun College Foundation to create the Irene McKinlay Memorial Nursing Bursary.

Every year, $1,000 from the bursary will go to a second-year nursing student in need.

“We’ll be selecting the first bursary recipient this coming fall,” said Dr. Cynthia Smith, dean of health and human services at Camosun College.

“Second-year, full-time Camosun nursing students are eligible to apply for the funds,” she said. “Applicants must have a satisfactory academic standing, a demonstrated financial need and a keen interest in pursuing a career in emergency nursing.”

McKinlay is remembered as a passionate nurse who was always kind with patients and ready to offer a smile.

“Irene was considered as a beautiful light who will be sadly missed,” said Camosun College in a release Monday.

“Establishing the Irene McKinlay bursary is an everlasting tribute and legacy to the continuation of her compassion and caring spirit for the benefit of the community, according to her family, who are grateful for all the contributions to the bursary,” said the college.

Applications for the Irene McKinlay Memorial Nursing Bursary will open online here on Sept. 8.

Anyone looking to donate to the bursary fund can do so online here