The Nursing program began in 1932 as a five-year program with six students enrolled in the first class. Sister Ellen Mary Johnson was the Director of the the Division of Nursing from the program's inception. The program quickly changed to four years in 1933 and modified again during World War II. Due to the demands of obtaining highly qualified instructors and affiliated facilities, the Nursing program was discontinued with the last nursing students graduating in 1960.
Nursing was first designed as a five-year program, with students spending the first three years on campus and the remaining two years in hospital affiliations. Not long after, the program was revised to four years. The revised program required students to spend their first two years on campus and the last years (including summers) in affiliated hospitals. The hospitals included St. Mary's Hospital (Amsterdam NY), St. Mary's Hospital (The Troy Hospital), Syracuse Memorial Hospital, Triboro Hospital (Jamaica NY), Central Islip Hospital (Long Island NY), and Trudeau Sanitorium (Saranac Lake NY).
In 1943, the program was once again revised, this time in response to the increased need for nurses during World War II. The "1-2-1 Plan" began with one year of introductory courses followed by an intensified summer course at St. Mary's Hospital in Amsterdam (later replaced by St. Mary's Hospital in Troy). Student nurses were then sent to either Trudeau Sanitorium or Triboro Hospital for training with tuberculosis patients. Thereafter, they trained at Central Islip Hospital for experience in psychiatric nursing. Finally, pediatric nursing was studied at Syracuse Memorial Hospital. Cadet nurses were allowed to take the state board examinations at the end of their junior year. Students that passed received their R.N. license and were eligible for government nursing service. However, if a student wished to earn a B.S. degree, she had the option to stay for the fourth year and finish her studies on campus. In 1946, sixty-nine students from the United Sates Cadet Nurse Corps at Saint Rose began to serve.
In the spring of their sophomore year, nursing students participated in the first of many capping ceremonies. The ceremony was held in the chapel in St. Joseph's Hall. Student nurses pledged to uphold the virtues of the profession. The candidates received white caps and navy blue capes. A booklet, Vista, was created by the students to remember the event.
Camilliene (student organization)
Started in 1937, Camilliene was organized to bring together students nurses. The group's mission was to provide a way for nursing students on campus and at affiliated hospitals to connect and share experiences. The group was also involved in activities for new students, publishing Vista, and fundraising.
The design of the caps awarded to nursing students had great significance. The three points formed in the front of the cap signified faith (left), hope (right), and charity (middle). The four pleats formed on the back of the cap signified the four cardinal virtues of prudence, fortitude, knowledge, and justice.
*Information included here was found in: Division of Nursing Records (located in the Saint Rose Archives) and Of Glory, Of Praise by RoseMarie Manory (available in the Neil Hellman Library, call# q378.74743 C697M285)
What You Can Find Online
The Archives holds photographs, capping ceremony programs, student newspapers, yearbooks, and much more. Many of these items have been digitized and can be found in the Saint Rose Digital Collections.
There are many photographs of nurses, students in action, and capping and graduation ceremonies. Go to the Photograph Collection and do a search using "nurses" or "nursing."
In the spring of their sophomore year, nursing students participated in the first of many capping ceremonies. The ceremony was held in the chapel in St. Joseph's Hall. Student nurses pledged to uphold the virtues of the profession. The candidates received white caps and navy blue capes. A booklet, Vista, was created by the students to remember the event. Go to the Text Documents Collection and do a search using "vista."
Student newspapers from 1936 to 2006 are available online. Page through particular issues or do a search to find information about the program. The entire collection is searchable using keywords, such as "nurses" or "nursing." Go to the Student Newspaper Collection and try it out!
Yearbooks are being digitized each year. Those that are available can be found in the Yearbook Collection. You can page through them or do a keyword search, such as "nurses" or "nursing."