Albany Hospital Training School for Nurses (AHTSN) 1897 -1937
In 1896 Dr. Albert Vander Veer advocated the establishment of a training school for nurses. Within six months, the funds were solicited and support was rallied. The school opened just one year later, in January 1897. The hospital Board of Governors gave members of the Board of Managers and Patronesses authority “to arrange with the training school that it provide all nursing necessary for the hospital.”
Nursing duties included Preparation of regular meals as well as special diets, along with mopping the floors and washing windows. Additionally, nurses obtained and prepared supplies for use, filled requests for them, cleaned equipment, did autoclaving and prepared sterile packs. In 1902 what was to become the oldest continuing psychiatric facility in a general hospital opened and psychiatric nursing was added. Public health nursing began in 1897; in 1918 it became a two-month elective. Tuberculosis nursing became available in 1910. Many graduates did private duty nursing after graduation. During World War I several nurses served at BaseHospital #33.
The Maltese Cross was the graduation pin from 1897 – 1924.
Albany Hospital Training School for Nurses (AHTSN)
The graduation pin from 1925 to 1937 was designed by Dr. John Sampson, made by Tiffany & Company and was Dr Sampson’s gift to each graduating senior. The symbolism and traditions of the pin was given a memorable place on the graduation diploma.
The color of the enamel border in which the name of the training school appears is garnet, chosen from the seal of Union University with which your hospital through theAlbany Medical College is in close affiliation. The rose is the flower of New York State , of which Albany is the capital city. The bud of the rose signifies a promise and the full-blown flower the fulfillment of that promise, as illustrated by the rose you carry at graduation. The shield is emblematic of protection which in your profession is synonymous with prevention – the prevention of sickness, misery and want. The lamp of Florence Nightingale stands for her living spirit which has never failed to light the way to the greatest of all opportunities afforded members of her profession, namely, service, the kind of service which only a trained nurse can render, that service which has so greatly contributed, and ever will, to the prevention of disease, the cure of the sick, the healing of wounds, and the comfort of those afflicted.
U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps affiliated with Russell Sage College and Albany Hospital 1942-1947
The U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps participated jointly with Russell Sage College School of Nursing and Albany Hospital and trained nurses during World War II from 1943 until recruitment ended in 1945. The newly acquired nurses’ residence, Bolton hall, was named in honor of Frances Payne-Bolton, who spearheaded the establishment of the nurse corps. Cadets received free tuition, maintenance, uniforms, and a $15 to $30 stipend per month and agreed to serve in emergency civilian jobs or the armed forces. Graduates who continued at Russell Sage College for a degree in nursing became members of that college’s alumnae association.
Union University School of Nursing (UUSN) 1945 -1957
Union University School of Nursing was established as a division of Albany Medical College . UUSN students were offered the opportunity to earn a nursing diploma or, with the completion of 60 additional credits from any liberal arts college were awarded a baccalaureate degree in nursing from Union University . During that time Russell Sage College School of Nursing and Plattsburgh State Teachers College division of School Nurse-Teacher Education affiliated at Albany Hospital and received the same nursing courses as UUSN. Members of all these schools lived in the dormitories which included Bolton Hall and Morris Hall. The first UUSN class of Spring ’48 students were all cadet nurses. Because the war ended, these students did not receive the cadet uniform or cadet pin but did receive all the other benefits of free tuition and stipends. Nurses who served in World War II were assigned to the 33rd General Hospital .
Albany Medical Center School of Nursing (AMCSN) 1955-1989
In 1954 plans were underway to reduce tuition, create a paid internship and shorten the preclinical period of UUSN. These preliminary plans developed into the establishment of Albany Medical Center School of Nursing, a three-year diploma program under Albany Hospital ’s board of governors. In 1958 the Educational Unit and McDonald Lounge were dedicated. At one time AMCSN was the largest diploma nursing program in New York State . The first male nursing student graduated in 1961. In 1973 an affiliation was established with Junior College of Albany for six college courses for a total of 21 college credits. In 1983, AMCSN contracted with the Collegeof St. Rose for five three-credit courses. In 1982, nursing was acknowledged as an autonomous profession with the passage of the Nurse Practice Act, which distinguished between nursing practice and medical practice. Fewer nurses were entering practice from hospital nursing schools while more were graduating from associate or bachelor of science degree programs.
This trend led to the demise of AMCSN in 1989.