Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Another tidbit for the Nursing Centennial

As we mentioned earlier, the OHSU School of Nursing is this year gearing up to celebrate its 100th anniversary. This morning, I happened across photocopies of three small pamphlets from the early history of the Multnomah Training School, which were included in the Subject File on Multnomah County Hospital. (According to the 1988 transfer memo with the copies, the originals went to the School of Nursing.)

The first, "Constitution and Standing Rules of the Multnomah Training School, adopted November, 1928" begins with a nod to the U.S. Constitution:
We, the nurses of the Multnomah Training School, have united in student government to form a more perfect training school, to maintain order, to establish justice and to create a feeling of fellowship that may influence us in our wide field of service to others.
It goes on to lay out the 23 rules instituted to maintain that order, including dictates on sleeping patterns:
7. A student nurse is on her honor to sleep six hours on the day that late permission is given.
(So, you can stay out late; you'll just pay for it tomorrow.) And it ends with the Nightingale Pledge.

The "Constitution and By-Laws of the Multnomah Hospital Alumnae Association" from 1933 lays out two objectives for the group, to wit:
To maintain the ethical standard of the training school; to promote closer professional and social relations among the graduates, and the keep them in touch with the school.

To cooperate with the District, State, and National Nursing organizations for the promotion of the professional and educational advancement of nursing.
The third pamphlet describes the "Portland Doctors Exchange and Nurses Registry." The undated piece, written by Genevieve E. Kidd, R.N., sets out the object, eligibility, rules, and a "standard schedule of rates and hours in hospitals." The intention was to make "a Central Directory for nurses, to maintain the interests of the Nursing Profession and to aid the Medical Profession and the public in securing efficient care for the sick."

These pamphlets illustrate that only a few years after establishing the school, the nursing graduates were well on their way to organizing themselves into a professional community.

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