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Louisville General Hospital School of Nursing records

Identifier: KORN117

Oral history interviews 1988 [1920-1967]. Reports, plans, and surveys 1891-1892, 1936-1970. Manuals and handbooks 1941-1975. Annual announcements 1926-1965. Library records 1932-1972. Student yearbooks 1918-1963. Alumni records 1889-1971. Newspaper clippings 1908-1983. Uniforms 1921-ca 1964. Exhibit artifacts 1910-1974.Photographs and posters (1896-1967). Histories and alumnae papers.Correspondence and miscellaneous records.


  • 1887-1968



9 linear feet

Biographical / Historical

The Louisville Training School for Nurses, connected with the City Hospital, was chartered through the efforts of Louisville philanthropist Jenny Casseday and opened on March 1, 1887. The first superintendent of the school was a trained nurse from New York, Florence Jones. The nursing course was two years long, graduating the first class with seven students in 1889.

In 1894 the board of managers had a disagreement with the Louisville Board of Public Safety and the school closed. The Board of Public Safety immediately opened a new school, the City Hospital Training School. First-year students from the previous school finished at the new school.

In 1908 the curriculum was expanded to three years, with the last two-year class graduating in 1910. In 1921 the nursing school affiliated with smaller schools around the state for the teaching of several clinical areas. Elsie Schenk was hired as the first full-time instructor of the school in 1922.

In 1942 Louisville and Jefferson County merged their public health services under the Louisville/Jefferson County Board of Health and the board took control of the hospital, now named Louisville General Hospital (LGH). The nursing school’s name was accordingly changed to the Louisville General Hospital School of Nursing (LGHSN).

During World War II the constant need for medical personnel caused a majority of the nursing students to join the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps. The curriculum was adjusted (as it had been during World War I) so students could complete some of their training at other hospitals as needed.

In 1947 the school became a separate administrative unit under the Board of Health. By 1949 it was ranked in the top twenty-five percent of nursing schools in the United States. An attempt was made at organizing a school of nursing at the University of Louisville in the 1952-1953 academic year, which would envelope the LGH School of Nursing. The university school closed after one year, however, the three-year program at LGHSN continued.

The school was racially integrated in 1954 and admitted its first male student in 1964. In 1958 it received national accreditation.

In 1967, the LGHSN graduated its last class. Its closure was due to many causes such as hospital structural problems, changes in educational standards and administrative methods, and advances in technology.

Louisville General Hospital School of Nursing records
Mary K. Marlatt
Description rules
Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Kornhauser Health Sciences Library Repository

Kornhauser Library
500 S. Preston Street
Louisville KY 40292 United States
(502) 852-5766