A history of professional nursing education in Middletown, 1906-1968

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Holmes, Marilou J.
Marconnit, George D.
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The study describes the growth and development of professional nursing education at five different sites in Muncie, Indiana, Middletown, U.S.A., beginning with the first surgical hospital and training school in 1906 and ending with the graduation of the first class from the generic baccalaureate program in the Department of Nursing at Ball State University in 1968.The review of literature traces the historical development of professional nursing education from the Nightingale Training School in London in 1860 to pioneer American and Indiana training schools in the early 1900s. Significant studies related to the development of hospital and collegiate schools of nursing were reviewed by decades from 1910 to 1968.A chronological approach involving primary sources was used to identify developmental changes in 1) administrators and organizational control, 2) facilities, 3) faculty positions and qualifications, 4) curriculum, 5) number of graduates, 6) policies related to students and financing, and 7) accreditation by the state of Indiana and the National League for Nursing.Findings indicated professional nursing education in Muncie, Indiana followed the general trend in the development of the hospital training school in America. Due to the close proximity of the hospital to Ball State Teachers College, the development of the curriculum was facilitated in science instruction and combined degree programs enabling the school to rank average or above compared to other schools of similar size in Indiana and the nation. Well qualified nurse educators appointed to the position of Director, endowments, continued interest in nursing education by the Ball Brothers, community leaders and physicians contributed to the quality of the education offered to nursing students. Difficulty in financing the hospital school eventually led to closure. The use of state and federal funds enabled the establishment of nursing education in the University with opportunities for further growth and development.