Looking Back: A school for student nurses 

Published 10:08 am Thursday, April 27, 2023

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By Linda Evenson

Photos courtesy Freeborn County Historical Museum

Naeve Hospital School of Nursing opened in 1912 and graduated its last class in 1974. The nurses training program had 648 graduates during its history. The three years of instruction were divided into four parts: Preliminary (four months), freshman (eight months), junior (second year) and senior (third year). According to the school’s 1947 catalog, “After completion of the preliminary course, students are required to work eight hours per day [at the hospital] including classes with one day off a week.” The school was affiliated with Gillette Hospital, University of Minnesota and Ancker Hospital, St. Paul for more experience in pediatric care. The three months of psychiatric training were affiliated with St. Peter State Hospital in St. Peter.

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Houses in proximity with the hospital on Fountain Street, Grace, Grove, Park and West Avenue served as dormitories. Student uniforms experienced changes, but the basic blue uniform with white pinafore, cuffs and collar remained. Capping was an important event. It signified satisfactory completion of the student’s probationary time and permission to continue in the program. At commencement, graduating students received a diploma and a Naeve Hospital School of Nursing pin. Graduates were eligible to take the state board examination to become registered nurses.