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Mr. Johns Hopkins, in a letter to the trustees of The Johns Hopkins Hospital on March 10, 1873, set forth a provision for establishing a school of nursing in conjunction with the hospital. In 1875, Francis King, chair of the board of trustees, traveled to London to visit the nursing school at St. Thomas Hospital established by Florence Nightingale. While there, he conferred with Nightingale about planning the school of nursing at Johns Hopkins. Over the next fourteen years, King oversaw development of the hospital and the school of nursing. Read More >

On October 9, 1889, The Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School for Nurses opened as a hospital-based diploma school. Under the leadership of its first nursing superintendent Isabel Hampton Robb and her successor Mary Adelaide Nutting, the school assumed a major role in the professionalization of nursing and nursing education. Well into the twentieth century, the school continued to produce leaders in the nursing field.

Beginning in the 1920s, the school’s alumnae advocated for an affiliation with the Johns Hopkins University in order to offer a baccalaureate degree.  By 1937, the school’s graduates were able to earn 30 credits toward a bachelor of science degree at the university’s Teacher’s College. Despite several attempts, the alumnae were unable to convince the hospital and university leadership to establish a fully accredited baccalaureate degree program. In 1970, the hospital split the administration of its nursing services from the school of nursing. Because the school could no longer compete in an era in which university-based nursing schools were evolving, the number of applicants diminished and the school finally closed in 1973.

Over the next eleven years, efforts continued within The Johns Hopkins University to establish baccalaureate degree programs in nursing. The short-lived School of Health Services (1972-1978) offered a degree-granting nursing education program. There were three classes of graduates from this program before the school closed. In the 1980s nursing alumnae resurrected plans to establish a university-based school of nursing. This attempt was successful thanks to strong support from the hospital, university, and the Consortium for Nursing Education. In 1984, the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing opened and soon re-established a tradition of excellence in nursing education at Johns Hopkins.

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Records of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School for Nurses

Records of Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School for Nurses document the founding, governance, and leadership of the school from its inception to its closure in 1973. There are records pertaining to nursing service and education, student life, as well as the school’s publications and its relationships to other nursing schools and organizations.

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