|Early History of Nursing Education
From Training to Education
Early Physicians Training Schools
Before the start of formal, Nightingale model nurse training schools, there
were hospitals that provided some education for women who wanted to be
nurses,. Dr. Valentine Seaman, was elevated to near sainthood after
introducing the small pox vaccine to this fledgling nation in the early 1800′
s. He is also credited with founding the first nursing schools in America
According to Nutting (1907 p 339),
“the distinction of having made the first attempt to teach nurse
attendants belongs to the New York Hospital and to Dr. Valentine
Seaman, one of its medical chiefs, a remarkably broad minded man
is due the honor of having conceived and initiated the first system
of instruction to nurses on the American continent. In 1798 he
organized in the New York Hospital the first regular Training
School for Nurses, from which other schools have since been
established and extended their blessings throughout the community."
The next attempt to 'train intelligent nursing personnel' was in Philadelphia.
Here the physician was Dr. Joseph Warrington described as " a man of
liberal opinions and high ideals" . On March 5, 1839 the Nurse Society
was formed in Philadelphia which sought females with" good habits, a
sense of responsibility, and patient dispositions" to go into the homes of
patients. The nurses were taught by the physicians in the lying in
department of the Philadelphia dispensary Dr. Warrington included lectures
and practice on a mannequin. The nurses were supervised in the homes by
a lady visitor of the district. . (Nutting, 1907 pp 162-163 ).
New England Hospital for Women and Children
Dr. Marie Zakrzewska founded the New England Hospital for Women
and Children in 1862. (now the New England Hospital) The hospital was
the first hospital staffed entirely by women physicians, and began the first
nursing school in the U.S.
Dr. Susan Dimock was appointed the resident physician of the New
England Hospital for Women and Children in 1872 . Dr. Dimock guided
the early nurse training program; the first class of pupils was admitted in
1872. with Dr. Dimock taught the pupil nurses and lectured on surgical
nursing. Linda Richards was the first to complete the twelve month
program on October 1 of 1873. Mary Eliza Mahoney, the first trained
black nurse in the country, graduated from this school in 1879.
Unfortunately Dr. Dimock died in 1875 while crossing the Atlantic. The
New England Hospital for Women and Children was re-named the Dimock
Community Health Center.
Source: American Association for the History of Nursing. www.aahn.org
First Trained Nurse
|Mary Eliza Mahoney
First Trained Black Nurse
Timeline: Career, Linda Richards