|Illinois Training School for Nurses, 1881-1883
The Illinois Training School for Nurses, the first graduating class of which is pictured here on page 25, was established in 1881 to achieve two primary goals. The first was to provide improved patient care, especially for Chicago's neediest citizens. The second was to make nursing a respectable profession for women. Creating the school was not easy as Cook County officials and others inside the medical establishment fought the notion of women nurses. Spearheaded by Sarah Hackett Stevenson, M. D. Lucy Flowers, and many of the city's socially prominent women, including Henriette Greenebaum Frank, who served as the school's secretary for over thirty years, the school was highly successful, drawing student nurses from around the Midwest who met the admissions standards and who promised to spend at least one year practicing at Cook County Hospital and another year in other assigned environments.
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