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Memorial Hospital School of Nursing celebrates 60th anniversary


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Cumberland Times-News

June 26, 2014

Memorial Hospital School of Nursing celebrates 60th anniversary

In 1954, students were to bring full slips and cotton undergarments, black stockings and shoes and a plastic or rubberized apron for anatomy lab.


Cumberland Times-News

CUMBERLAND -- The 1954 class of Memorial Hospital School of Nursing recently celebrated 60 years of nursing at the Cumberland Country Club.

The nurses reminisced with pictures and memorabilia from their nursing careers and a mannequin was dressed in a white uniform, stockings, shoes, cap and black wool cape like a 1954 graduate nurse wore on duty.

Forty young women entered the three-year nurses training program at Memorial Hospital on Sept. 4, 1951, as "probies," short for probationary. Three girls dropped out of the program and one got married in her senior year. This class was the first to be allowed to marry in the senior year and the student later returned and completed her diploma. Thirty-six graduated in June, 1954, and passed their State of Maryland Nursing License Boards to become registered nurses.

Many changes have occurred in the training of nurses in the last 60 years. In 1951, on their first day, students were to bring full slips and cotton undergarments, black stockings and shoes and a plastic or rubberized apron for anatomy lab. Their names were to be sewn into all of their clothing.

The "probies" wore blue and white striped uniforms with stiffly starched white collars and cuffs that were pinned to the dress. The collars rubbed the neck so badly that the girls would rub the collar with Ivory Soap to ease the abrasion. Over the dress was a stiff starched white apron. Black stockings and shoes completed the "probie"
uniform.

After six months, the students were capped at a ceremony and a bib was added to the apron. The apron hemline was 11-inches from the floor.

The students were no longer called "probies." The wool cape was black with a gold lining.

Students', as well as graduates', hairstyles could not touch the collar. Shoes, black or white, were polished daily. A name pin identified the student as Miss, first initial, and surname. Students and graduate nurses were not allowed to wear necklaces and bracelets.

Only small stud pierced earrings could be worn while in uniform and nail polish was not allowed. The black stockings and shoes were replaced by white ones at the end of the second year.

The cost of the nursing education for the class of 1954 was $212 for the first year and included books, uniforms and room and board in the Nurses Home next to the hospital. The second year, the cost was $65 and the third year $35 was required. A grand total of $312 for a lifetime career.

The three-year diploma program consisted of classroom and clinical instruction and the students worked part of each 12-hour day in the hospital caring for patients using the skills learned in the classroom. Study time was 7 to 9 p.m. and bedtime was 10 p.m.

The curriculum included the basic sciences taught at Frostburg State Teacher's College, now Frostburg State University. The students were bused to Frostburg. The nutrition classes were taught in the Fort Hill High School Home Economics Kitchen.

Actual hands on rotations were surgery, obstetrics, pediatrics and diet kitchen at Memorial Hospital. A three-month psychiatric affiliation at Springfield State Hospital in Sykesville completed the rotation.

All of the rotations required students to be proficient and their "computer" was their brain.

The class established a nursing scholarship in memory of Rhoda Walters Barton and other deceased class members at Allegany College of Maryland. Two scholarships are awarded each year, one to a resident of Bedford County, Pa., and one to a resident of Allegany County. Donations for the scholarship may be made to the Allegany College of Maryland Foundation.




ID:
acwh199

Creator:
Cumberland Times News

Notes:
Members of the 1954 class of Memorial Hospital School of Nursing held their 60th reunion recently at the Cumberland Country Club. Among those attending were, front row, from left, Joan Clark Conway, Patricia Ann Murphy Wright and B. Jean Howdyshell McFarland, In back are D. Jean McFarland Phillips, Patricia Coleman Pile, Anna Morgan Clark, G. Jane McIntyre Kuhn, Virginia P. McFarland Northcraft and Mary Jane Robb Faye Harden. At far right is a mannequin dressed in a white uniform, stockings, shoes, cap and black wool cape like a 1954 graduate nurse wore on duty.

Date:
2014-06-26

Collection Location:
Allegany County

Subject:
Allegany County (Md.)--Biography; Allegany County (Md.)--Women.

Coverage:
Allegany County, (Md.)

 
 
Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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