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1751 - 1800

1801 - 1850

1851 - 1900

1901 - 1950

1951 - Today


(1914 - 1965)

In the early years of the hospital, the nurses who cared for the sick and injured were untrained men and women. Quite often these attendants were former patients who had shown some aptitude or desire to nurse others after their own recovery. At that time, such employees were usually the working poor, commanding low wages and having limited access to education.

However, some individuals demonstrated a real vocation for the care of the sick and were a great resource to the hospital community. In 1875, the Board took under consideration plans to establish a training school for female nurses. However, it was not until 1914 that the Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing for Men was established at the Department for Mental and Nervous Diseases, located at the hospital's West Philadelphia campus. It was the first training school for male nurses in the U.S. to be headed by a man, Leroy N. Craig.

The original purpose of the school was to meet the needs of the community for competent professional male nurses. The educational program was designed to provide an integrated background in general nursing upon which specialization in psychiatric and urological nursing could be developed after completion of the course.

In 1932, an Affiliate Program in Psychiatric Nursing was developed. The School of Nursing for Men was one of nine "diploma" or hospital-based nursing schools that participated in this cooperative program. Approximately 12,000 affiliate students participated in this mental health nursing training program.

During the 1950s, through the efforts of Mr. Craig and Congresswoman Frances Payne Bolton, male nurses were granted commissions in the armed forces. Several graduates of the Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing for Men were the first to enter.

In 1965, the Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing for Men was dissolved, after having graduated 551 men over its 51-year history. The school for women was dissolved the same year and a co-educational program was established. This program continued to attract male students each year until the school was closed in 1974.

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