A Heritage of Loving Service: The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in Tucson
navigation bar: histories, photograph collections and homepage


Heritage: The Story of St. Mary's Hospital, 1880-1980
By Leo G. Bryne and Sister Alberta Cammack, C.S.J

Chapter I Frontier Hospital
The School of Nursing

The School of Nursing

None of these basic needs came cheaply, even in those days when the economy was still beautifully simple. Sister Fidelia, by this time, was coping with a debt of some $12,000, but the health needs of the growing community were many and medical science and technology were beginning to present new challenges each year. The demand for trained and efficient nurses was already outstripping the abilities of the Sisters to fill the gaps from their own ranks.

The problem of securing trained nurses was not easily solved. To begin with, nursing education was then largely a matter of "on-the-job" training -- a situation that was neither attractive to the young beginner nor beneficial to either trainee or patient in the long run. Nursing schools, as such, were relatively non-existent except as adjuncts to a general hospital. Such annexes were springing up by the hundreds in the East and Midwest, yet few of their graduates -- and they numbered only a few thousand in the whole country -- were coming to the Southwest.

There was but one obvious solution to the local need. Together with the doctors, Sister Fidelia made her plans for a School of Nursing to be attached to the hospital. Early in 1911, she engaged a contractor to begin working on a building that would provide student living quarters and classrooms for the newest project. Even as the building started, plans for its operation were also underway. Sister Francis de Sales Fuller and Sister Mary Evangelista Weyand were transferred to Tucson from St. Joseph's Hospital School of Nursing in Kansas City, Missouri. Their assignment was to prepare a curriculum and organize a teaching faculty. The doctors who were practicing in the hospital were enthusiastic and cooperative on both counts so that by the time the school opened and admitted its first students in December of 1914, curriculum and faculty were ready.

When one considers that the first national norms -- The Standard Curriculum for Schools of Nursing -- were not published until 1917, the following tabulation of course and hour content of the initial curriculum seems impressive still:

COURSE
1st YR
2nd YR.
3rd YR.
INSTRUCTOR
Anatomy & Physiology
30 hrs.
30 hrs.
30 hrs.
Srs. Francis & Evangelista



20 hrs.
Dr. Schnabel
Methods of Nursing
30 hrs

30 hrs
Srs. Francis & Evangelista
Materia Medica

30 hrs.
30 hrs.
Sr. Evangelista



15 hrs.
Dr. Pratt
Ethics
10 hrs.


Sr. Francis
Dietetics

30 hrs.
30 hrs.
Sr. Evangelista
Obstetrics & Gyn

39 hrs.
19 hrs.
Dr. Schnabel & Walls
Hygiene


20 hrs.
Dr. Schnabel
Bacteriology


20 hrs.
Drs. Pratt & Gotthelf
Urinalysis


20 hrs.
Dr. Pratt
Pediatrics


6 hrs.
Dr. Rogers
Orthopedics


6 hrs.
Dr. Rogers
Contagious Diseases


30 hrs.
Dr. Olcott
Surgical Nursing


15 hrs.
Dr. Rogers
Surgical Nursing


15 hrs.
Drs. Thomas & Rogers
First Aid

Demonstrations
15 hrs.
Dr. Rogers & Mr. Conover
Class hours from this record total 511 hours.

Continue with Chapter I Frontier Hospital Professional Standards



Go to the Histories Section Go to the Photograph Collections