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Bessie Baker was born in Maryland. She received her nursing diploma in 1902. She was a private duty nurse until 1910 when she became Assistant Superintendent of Nurses at the Hospital for the Women of Maryland in Baltimore. From 1912 to 1917, she was Assistant Superintendent of Nurses at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. During World War I, she was appointed Chief Nurse of the Johns Hopkins Base Hospital Unit 18, which was stationed in France. She returned to the United States in 1919 and received her BS degree in Administration in Schools of Nursing from Columbia University Teachers’ College in 1922. She was then Director of Nursing at Charles T. Miller Hospital in St. Paul and Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Minnesota. In 1930 she became the first Dean of the School of Nursing and Professor of Nursing Education at Duke University. She was president of the Minnesota State League of Nursing Education and of the North Carolina State League of Nursing Education. She retired from Duke in 1938.

Scope and Content

The Bessie Baker Collection consists of her records from the Johns Hopkins Base Hospital Unit 18. Included are applications and correspondence from nurses and nurses’ aides as well as rules governing admission.

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Hopkins and the Great War exhibit featuring Bessie Baker

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