Boston Children's Hospital has always been on the forefront of innovation when it comes to nursing. In fact, the tradition of establishing a formal program for teaching nurses in the United States originated at Children's.
Nation's first nursing school
Prior to the opening of the hospital in 1869, there were no trained nurses in the United States; however, the visionary founders of Boston Children's laid the foundation for a School of Nursing in the original hospital by-laws, calling for the "instruction to young women in the duties of nurses and nursery maids."
Young women began living and working at the hospital, learning medical skills needed to care for young patients. In 1930, the Gardner House opened -- still considered one of the most impressive buildings at Boston Children's -- to house women who dedicated themselves to learning the art and science of nursing.
Since that time, much has changed. Advances in science and medicine have precipitated tremendous strides in the field of nursing. Through it all, the nurses at Boston Children's have led the way in clinical care, research and technology.
Training the next generations
Today, Boston Children's continues to be a leader in nursing. The Department of Nursing maintains its long tradition of teaching the next generation of nurse clinicians by providing educational opportunities for staff members, students and the nursing community.
Academic faculty who are members of the Department of Nursing participate in the clinical teaching of 500 undergraduate students annually and provide clinical experiences for approximately 32 graduate level students. Additionally, Boston Children's maintains academic agreements for nursing education with approximately 20 leading nursing schools in New England and beyond.