Dr. Dewar was awarded a Diploma in Teaching and Supervision in Schools of Nursing in 1958, a BN degree from Dalhousie University in 1967 and a L.L.D Degree from UPEI in 2003.
Dr. Dewar was a pivotal figure in changes to nursing education in PEI, starting with the amalgamation of the three hospital based "2 plus 1" diploma programs.
Immediately upon realizing this aim, Dr. Dewar began advocating for a degree program at UPEI. She faced significant opposition on many fronts. Many of the faculat the PEI School of Nursing, including herself, did not have the educational credentials to teach in a university program and, further, there were many stakeholders who were adamant that nursing was anot a profession requiring a university education. Dr. Dewar drew support from academic colleagues at UNB and Dalhousie University. Further and most helpful was that the president of UPEI, Dr. Eliott, was a very strong advocate of nurses being educated at the university level. Consequently , in 1992, nursing moved into UPEI. With this move, PEI became the first province in Canada to set the baccalaureate degree as entry level for nursing.
Although Dr. Dewar was not able to move to PEI with the program, she continued to be a strong advocate and force for nursing education. Aware that the nursing school was located in the basement of the music building at UPEI, her next targets were for a new nursing building at UPEI and the establishment of a graduate (MN and NP) program. Both were realized in 2012
Dr. Dewar continues to support the school and students through her philanthropy, contributing large sums of money to support the state of the art clinical laboratory named in her honour, "The Dr. Vera Dewar Learning Resource Centre". Dr. Dewar also supports the Dr. Vera E. Dewar Graduate Nursing Scholarship, awarded each year. As with any educational institution, we must not rest on our laurels. Dr. Dewar looks forward to the day when UPEI, through collaboration with Dalhousie and UNB, will be able to offer a PhD program to its' students.
Vera Dewar has been recognized for her professional accomplishments with an honorary Doctorate, L.L.D. from UPEI in 2003, the order of Canada (C.M.) in 2011, the Queen's Jubilee Medal in 2012 and the Order of PEI (OPEI) in 2013.