THE SHEPARD-GILL SCHOOL OF PRACTICAL NURSING OF MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL, 1918-1984.
by Carla Ann Nelson
Published 1987 .
About the Book
In 1912, a group of prominent society ladies in Boston started a service called the Household Nursing Association to meet the needs of the time to provide inexpensive health care and light housekeeping in the home and to create jobs for women. The project was so successful that in 1918, with the help of the Red Cross, a school was opened to standardize the nursing care.
The school's curriculum consisted of classes in cooking, cleaning, house management as well as basic nursing skills. The students were placed in a home to practice their skills before they could graduate. The graduates were called attendant nurses. The school was the prototype of many similar schools started in this country.
During WWII there was an acute nursing shortage and the attendants were hired by the hospitals. From this time, the graduate attendants, later termed practical nurses, rarely chose to work in the home where they functioned as self-employed. The school clung to its original purpose of providing nursing care in the home and continued to require a field experience in the home even though graduates were not working in that setting.
In 1968, the state would not approve the school unless it dropped its field experience requirement as this was nursing for hire without a license to practice. In order to regain state approval the school needed to become hospital based.
The board of directors of the school, still mostly prominent society ladies, were faced with a dilemma. They could not possibly reorganize the school to meet the requirements of the state and stay solvent. The directors approached the Massachusetts General Hospital and in 1970 the school became incorporated as a department of the MGH and remained so until 1984 when it was closed.
Ironically, the reason for which the school was founded in 1918 still exists today. There is a need for someone to go to the home to do basic nursing care.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 48-11, Section: A, page: 2819.
Thesis (PH.D.)--BOSTON COLLEGE, 1987.
School code: 0016.
The Physical Object
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