Georgetown University Nursing History: A Look at Early Baccalaureate and Practical Nursing Education Models
Cessato, William Anthony
Ruf, Frederick J.
History associated with nursing education at Georgetown University has been recounted by other writers, most fully by Alma S. Woolley. A onetime dean of the School of Nursing, she wrote about ninety-seven years of its history in Learning, Faith, and Caring: History of the Georgetown University School of Nursing, 1903-2000. Employing archival and interview methods and engaging relevant secondary source materials, this thesis will build upon two areas Woolley discussed, but remain underexplored. The first involves women who received their baccalaureate degrees in nursing through both “extension courses” on various academic subjects and a five-year BSN model that included College of Arts and Sciences and Nursing School curricula – two models that preceded the four-year BSN, which began in 1951 and operates today. The second focuses on the women and men who studied in the 1950s and the 1960s to become practical nurses within a school operated by Georgetown University Hospital as a separate campus undertaking from the older School of Nursing. Our journey through these histories will highlight facts and firsts, describe the efforts of campus administrators to launch and operate these programs, illuminate the students who studied and the faculty who taught within them, and explore contexts of gender and race, as well as the values at play within and around the program models. In the end, this work will present a more nuanced understanding of Georgetown’s past, particularly the way early BSN and practical nursing models have contributed to the more than 230-year story of the university’s campus.
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