“I was working in the hospital as an orderly” the oral histories of the Alexian Brothers Hospital School of Nursing graduates
Review TypeAbstract Review Only: Reviewed by Event Host
Repository Posting Date2020-02-03T21:59:59Z
Author(s)LaRocco, Susan A.
Author DetailsDr. Susan LaRocco is Dean and Professor of the School of Nursing at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh NY. She became a nursing educator after many years in a variety of leadership positions in hospitals in Boston, New York, and Connecticut. She has published extensively, including in the American Journal of Nursing, Journal of Clinical Nursing, and Nursing Management. In 2014, she was inducted as a Fellow in the National Academies of Practice. Dr LaRocco spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in the Middle East, teaching doctoral students at the University of Jordan in Amman. Her major research interest is men in nursing, in particular the graduates of the Alexian Brothers Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago, the last all-male school of nursing.
Lead Author AffliationMount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, New York, USA
Level of EvidenceHistorical
Aim of Study: The Alexian Brothers Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago, founded in 1898, was the fifth all male nursing school in the United States. By the time it closed in 1969 a total of 779 lay and religious men became nurses as a result of their education at this school. The aim of this study is to present the oral histories of these men, especially their decision to choose nursing as a career and their experiences during their pre-licensure nursing program.
Rationale and Significance: The recollections of these male nurses will add to our understanding of what it was like for a man to choose nursing as a career at a time when less than 2% of all nurses in the United States were male as well as what it was like to attend a religious affiliated all male nursing school.
Methodology: Oral history interviews, focusing on the men’s decisions to become nurses, choice of school, and the obstacles and opportunities that they encountered throughout their careers were conducted with 23 graduates of the school. All interviews were conducted in person and were audio-recorded, transcribed and participant checked for accuracy. Other primary sources included the records of the Alexian Brothers Hospital School of Nursing.
Findings and Conclusions: Men who graduated from the Alexian Brothers Hospital School of Nursing chose nursing for a variety of reasons. The low cost of their education was often a factor. For many, their desire to become Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) influenced their decision. All of the men indicated that they received an excellent education that was the foundation for their continued education and successful nursing careers. They also reflected on the values of compassion and service that were developed in them while they were learning from the Brothers.
Conference NameInternational Perspectives in the History of Nursing Conference
Conference LocationLondon, England
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