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First Graduates of the Geisinger School of Nursing


First Class to enter The George F. Geisinger Memorial Hospital Training School. It was a three-year course with a class entering through-out the Fall and Winter.


Miss Mary Atta Gearhart was the Directress of Nursing. She interviewed each candidate and followed their progress through the Training period. Most graduates became private duty nurses following graduation. A very few had supervisory positions within the Hospital. Students were sent to private homes to nurse patients as part of their training. They were allowed to give subque injections but IMs were given by the doctors.


The first class graduated from the Training School.


Founding of the Alumni Association as part of the District #3 PSNA. Salaries were set by this organization and approved by Dr. Foss.


This class proposed and published the first yearbook.


It became mandatory to take the State Board of Examiners exam to become a registered nurse. This allowed the nurse to use R.N. behind her name.


The first nursing procedures were written down by Mrs. Marqueen Shuman Lutz. This book was used by students in the Nursing Arts Laboratory.


It remained a training school until 1936 when Miss Beatrice Spargo, then Directress of Nursing charged that it be changed to reflect education as well. The students still worked 12 hour days or nights ( 7 to 7). Many worked the night shift for 3 months or more, depending when the Directress remembered to change your schedule. Then the student was entitled to vacation - usually one day.


The Student Government Association was formed.


The School became known as Geisinger Memorial Hospital School of Nursing.


The yearbook was discontinued and started again in 1951.


The Class that entered this year all entered at one time as one class.


The Cadet Nurse Corp was founded (I 943 - 1948). 170 students were enrolled in this program and their final six months were spent in the Navy or the Army.


The Nursing Home was enlarged.


This was the year of the opening of the Foss Clinic and students rotated through the outpatient departments as part of their schooling.


The School became a charter member of The Council of Diploma Programs of the NLN with full accreditation in 1958.


Capping was discontinued. Each new student wore a "probie" cap for the first six months.


The name of the School is changed to Geisinger Medical Center School of Nursing.


The first married and male applicants were accepted into the program.


Students were allowed to work while enrolled in the program.


First two year program students were accepted. There were two graduations that year with the three year students graduating in May and the two year students graduating in August 1973.


Hurricane Agnes caused a flood with many of the students giving of their time and abilities to nurse patients as well as sharing their nursing residence as it was turned into a disaster mobilization center.


Due to changes in the curriculum, there were two graduations that year with the three year students (accepted in 1970) graduating in May and the two year students (accepted in 1971) graduating in August of 1973.


The first LPN was accepted in the advanced placement program for LPN's.


The first Helene Fuld Fund grant was received. Through the years, many student needs were met through these continuing grants.


Dr. Leonard Bush retired and Dr. Henry Hood became chief of Staff.


The Helene Fuld Audio-Visual Center Foundation was dedicated.


A feasibility study was done to study the need for a part-time program. All students had to meet the same admission requirements. The part-time program was subsequently approved by the State Board of Nurse Examiners and started as an evening program. After the students completed the required college courses, the student spent three years of part-time work to complete the program.


The former Fourth Ward School of the Danville School District was purchased and renovated, becoming an annex to the school of nursing. Mrs. Linda Capparell became the Director of the School of Nursing.


The part-time program was changed to a part-time day program.


The 75th Anniversary of the founding of the Geisinger Hospital and the Geisinger School of Nursing was celebrated with an Alumni luncheon, visits to the campus and many many trips down memory lane.


The class size was expanded to 110 students.


Dr. Hood retired as President and CEO of the Geisinger Medical Center ending an era of graduation tradition. He along with Mrs. Emma Jean Knapper and Mr. Kenneth Ackerman had attended every graduation of the school since he became president.


Dr. Stuart Hedyt was named as Dr. Hood's successor.


The school rarely closed its doors, but this was the year of the Great Blizzard which closed the doors for a short period.


Mrs. Emma Jean Knapper died.


The curriculum was shortened to a 22 month program and the number of students was decreased to 70 in anticipation of the closing of the school in June of 1998.


The administration of the school passed from Linda Moran to Kay Carter who became the Program Coordinator.


The last class of the Geisinger Medical Center School of Nursing was accepted this year.


A class of 38 students graduated as the last class of the Geisinger Medical Center School of Nursing as the school closed its doors. It was the 60th class to graduate from the school.

 The smallest class to graduate school was the class of 1919 with 7 students. The largest class was the class of 1995 with 95 graduates. These 3000+ graduates have demonstrated competent professional leadership in the community and throughout the country in positions such as administration, supervision, teaching, industrial nursing, hospital and federal government nursing services.

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