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Special Training for Nurses at Drexel

by Robin Elliot

In the early twentieth century Drexel participated in training for nurses. At that time nursing was primarily a female profession. There were Nurses Training Schools throughout the country, including Philadelphia. Drexel began offering new scientific classes for nurses which would supplement their regular training. Drexel did not intend to simply offer scientific courses; instead they wanted to help the student be an all around better nurse. The curriculum would therefore include English Language and Literature to ensure proper writing skills. They would also take classes in Vocal Expression. Students in the nursing program would have access to public lectures and the library from Drexel. It is unclear if this program was implemented at Drexel at this time.

By the early 1920's Drexel was participating in a city-wide program of educating nurses. This was in conjunction with the School for Preliminary Courses in Nursing. The courses taught included chemistry, nutrition and cookery, and bacteriology. These all required laboratory time for students. The program continued until 1930, when the Nursing School ran into financial problems. The female director of the School for Preliminary Courses in Nursing, Mabel F. Huntly, went to Columbia University for a Masters’ Degree in 1929. She is an example of the growing number of highly educated women during the twentieth century.

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