Nursing Education at Thomas Jefferson College of Nursing 1891-Present

Jefferson College of Nursing Cap

Thomas Jefferson College of Nursing Cape

The first home of Thomas Jefferson hospital was the old Tivoli Theater located at 518 Locust St, Philadelphia.  The first operation was performed in 1825  by Dr. George McClellan.  It wasn’t until 1838 that the medical department of the Jefferson College of Cannonsburg established a separate and independent corporate body under the name Thomas Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia.

The new medical college expanded by acquiring buildings, which enabled Thomas Jefferson Medical College Hospital to formally open on September 17, 1877.  The new building located at 1020 Samson St could accommodate 125 patients.  In the first year, 441 patients were treated.  Prior to the construction of this building surgical patients were sent home with a Clinical Assistant.  Seriously ill or injured patients received care in two rooms that were located on the second floor over a store, on the southwest corner of 10th and Sansom St.

Thomas Jefferson Medical College Hospital started a “training school” for nurses in 1891.  The first class was composed of 15 young women.  Three nurse executives, led by Miss Benson, Directress of Nursing, did the supervision assisted by the teaching staff of the attending staff.  In 1893, five students graduated and received diplomas.

In 1918, the first list of approved nursing schools in Pennsylvania was compiled and Thomas Jefferson College of Nursing placed at the top of the list.  The Nurses’ Alumni Association was formed in 1895.

Congratulations on educating nurses for 125 years. 

by Jane Early

source: Roberta Mayhew West, RN. History of Nursing in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Nurses” Association, 1931.