How Nuns Shaped Healthcare in the U.S.: 5 Impressive Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

Public Domain, Wikipedia / ChurchPOP

As a graduate student pursuing a Master’s in History, I have specifically researched Catholic nuns and their influence on healthcare and nursing education. I learned that so much in our healthcare system we owe to nuns!

Here are the facts I found most impressive:

Catholic Nuns in the United States . . .

1) Have been called the first feminists

Nuns in 19th century America often made decisions in business without ever consulting a man. In a culture and country where most women followed the orders of a father or husband, these women were planning, building and even providing employment without the lead of a man.

By 1906, over eight hundred hospitals and ten thousand schools, colleges and universities were founded by Catholic nuns.

2) Helped start the Mayo Clinic

In 1883 a devastating tornado hit Rochester, Minnesota.  Dr. W.W. Mayo who was caring for injured victims requested the help of Catholic Sisters.  When the crisis passes, Mother Alfred Moes (founder of the Sisters of St. Francis of Our Lady of Lourdes) discussed a dream she had with Dr. Mayo.  The dream was about the two of them building a world-recognized hospital in Rochester.

The resulting St. Mary’s Hospital, opening in 1895, drew so many patients it spawned the Mayo clinic.  The result was hundreds of basic medical innovations, but the foundation for all of them was the hard work, faith and frugality of the nuns.

3) Made the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous possible

In the late 1930’s, Dr. Bob Smith, a physician recovering from alcoholism, met Sister Mary Ignatia Gavin at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio.

Dr. Smith found in Sister Gavin an advocate in treating alcoholics as if they were sick. Sister Gavin sneaked his patients into the hospital, and the result of this team became Alcoholics Anonymous.

4) Participated and helped to develop the first prepaid health insurance plan in the U.S.

In 1871, St. John’s Hospital was founded in St. Louis, Missouri, by a Mercy Sister.  The hospital worked with the United Railways Company of St. Louis to develop an insurance plan.

5) Pioneered “family-centered” and “holistic” care

One order, The Sisters of Saint Francis were founded in Philadelphia in 1855 under the direction of Bishop (now Saint) John Newmann. One of their nursings schools was St. Agnes where instruction began in 1894.

Only one course outline had been saved and filed in their archives – this course was titled “Introduction to Growth, Development and Family Life.” This course was designed to “impress upon the student nurse the important role she will play as a Licensed Practical Nurse in the total care of the patient whether in the hospital or in the home and this involves the patient’s family”

The course outline later states: “Family breakdown is America’s #1 problem and is as destructive as any disease.”

As part of my research, I interviewed Cecilia Hendrickson, a 1971 graduate of Saint Agnes school of Nursing.  Mrs. Hendrickson remembered being asked by other nurses (co-workers) where she learned to do certain actions involving patient care.

These co-workers attended secular schools, and were asking Cecilia about how she (1) reached out to the family of the patient (but “out of earshot of the patient”) and (2) got to know her patient’s background (for example, where is he from or how many children does he have, etc) so that she could talk to hem more personally.

These practices seem “normal” today – but in the early 1970’s, they were not so common.

It seems that the Franciscans were “ahead” of their time in American nursing with their emphasis on getting to know the patient on a “holistic” level and not just as someone enduring a physical hardship.

The truth is, American nuns should be applauded and thanked for their accomplishments as women in the workforce and pioneers in healthcare.

Thank you Sisters!

Interested in reading further? Much of my research came from these sources:

[See also: A Protestant Leader’s Inspiring Interview With a Catholic Nun]

[See also: What a Ceremony for a Nun’s Vows Looked Like in 1962]

Comments

comments

Amy Brooks

Amy Brooks is a stay-at-home mom, freelance writer, and blogger at prayerwinechocolate.com. Amy lives in PA with her husband Matt and son Xavier. They are hoping enlarge their family through adoption! Find out more about Amy and PrayerWineChocolate on Facebook.

248 COMMENTS

  1. This internet internet site is really a walk-through for all of the info you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you will absolutely discover it.

  2. As a result of their work, Positive View’s events have received
    coverage from several global television networks and still have also been streamed for online
    viewing. It took about a few months to understand the text along with the raucous, discordant (to my ears) “melody. This can be very advantageous for you if you’re a fast learner, with just an effort, you might learn all that you wanted to effortlessly and free.

  3. Thanks for discussing the idea, I bookmarked the webpage. I am furthermore struggling to find data on upvc window handles, are you aware the place where I could discover a thing like this? I will come back in the future!

  4. I wish to express some appreciation to you for rescuing me from this setting. As a result of surfing around throughout the world wide web and getting ways which are not productive, I believed my life was over. Living minus the solutions to the difficulties you have solved by means of your post is a critical case, and ones that could have in a wrong way affected my entire career if I hadn’t discovered your web site. Your primary capability and kindness in playing with every aspect was very helpful. I am not sure what I would’ve done if I had not come across such a solution like this. I can also at this point look ahead to my future. Thanks for your time very much for your skilled and result oriented help. I won’t think twice to suggest your web page to any individual who should receive guide on this situation.

  5. As a result of their work, Positive View’s events have received coverage from many global television networks and still have also been streamed for online
    viewing. It took about a couple of months to master what and the raucous, discordant (to
    my ears) “melody. This can be very advantageous to you personally just like you are a fast learner, with just an endeavor, you may learn whatever you wanted to quickly and free.

  6. I’ve been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  7. Thanks for this amazing content! I seriously liked reading it.I will be sure to bookmark this blog and will often return from now on. I wish to encourage that you continue your fine job, perhaps comment on Arvind Pandit also, have a fine afternoon!

  8. I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thanks , I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your web site?

  9. Hi! I must say, I’m impressed with your site.

    I had no trouble navigating through all the information. I found what
    I needed in no time at all. Pretty great. Would appreciate it in case
    you add forums or something, it would be a perfect way for your clients as well as other visitors to have interaction. Good
    job.

  10. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back down the road. Many thanks

  11. As a result of their efforts, Positive View’s events have received coverage from several global television networks and
    have been streamed for online viewing. A model with 3
    CCD features a sensor that accumulates every one of the different colors (Red, Green, and Blue) resulting in superior color reproduction. Painting is an authentic gift due to the longevity and utility.

  12. I was speaking to a good friend of my own on this article and also regarding vshare download android as well. I do believe you made some very good points in this article, we’re excited to continue reading information from you.

  13. The camera can make the brightest of scenes appear to be it
    had been taken during an eclipse. These guides enable you
    to practice when you are prepared and have the time and energy to do so.
    Painting is an authentic gift for the long life and utility.

  14. Now that you know about video editing as well as the what exactly you need you are ready to begin the journey of amateur filmmaker to professional director.
    ” It was President Theodore Roosevelt who had given it the name of White House in 1901. You need a special connector typically referred to as a Fire wire or sometimes known as a possible IEEE 1394 high band connector.

  15. Hello there I’m really glad I came across your website, I basically found you by accident, while I was looking on Yahoo for how to increase twitter followers. Anyways I am here right now and would simply enjoy to say thanks for a great posting and the all round exciting website (I also adore the theme), I don’t have the time to read through it all at the moment yet I have saved it and also added in the RSS feeds, so whenever I have the time I will be back to go through a great deal more. Make sure you do continue the amazing job.

  16. Aw, this was a really nice post. In concept I want to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and precise effort to make a very good article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and certainly not seem to get something done.

  17. 456180 960293The next time I learn a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as significantly as this 1. I mean, I do know it was my choice to read, even so I truly thought youd have something attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is actually a bunch of whining about something that you could fix for those that werent too busy in search of attention. 734077

  18. I personally came over here from another web address related to personal injury attorney and considered I might check this out. I enjoy the things I see so I am just following you. Getting excited about looking over the website yet again.

  19. Very good piece of writing! Thought about celebrated most of the following. I’m hoping to share increased from your business. Book that you’ve fine imminent and so eye sight. What i’m seriously satisfied utilizing this type of specifics.

  20. Appreciating the hard work you invested in your website and in depth material you present. It is wonderful to discover a blogging site from time to time that is just not the same expired re-written stuff. Fantastic read! We’ve saved your site and I am including your RSS feeds to my electric heat pump website.

  21. you’re really a good webmaster. The website loading speed is incredible. It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a excellent job on this topic!

  22. Hey there! This is my first reply on your website so I really wanted to give a quick hello and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading your posts. Can you suggest other sites that go over adventure games? I am as well highly fascinated with this thing! Thank you!

  23. Wow! This can be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Wonderful. I am also a specialist in this topic therefore I can understand your hard work.

  24. Thank you so much for discussing this info, I saved the page. I am furthermore interested in facts on teeth whitening dentist, do you know the place where I might come across a thing like that? I will come back in the future!

  25. Appreciating the hard work you invested in your website and in-depth facts you display. It really is amazing to come across a blog every now and then that is not the same out of date rehashed content. Fantastic read! We’ve saved your webpage and I’m including your RSS feeds to my own free new movies online page.

  26. Oh, I just got the science behind the findings. They are using 220 sea level records from around the world. Under the Australian BoM methodology they can use any 220 records to support their findings and when reviewing they can use a different set of 220. Now that is real science.
    Ventes bulgari B.zero collier replique http://www.payjewel.cn/cheap-high-imitation-bvlgari-serpenti-ring-18k-pink-gold-with-mother-of-pearl-and-pave-diamonds-p32.html

  27. I am not sure where you’re getting your info, but good
    topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding
    more. Thanks for excellent info I was looking for this info for my mission.

  28. Thank you for sharing this story. I am certainly tired of struggling to find
    relevant and smart commentary on this subject. Everyone these days seem
    to go to extremes to either drive home their viewpoint or suggest that everyone else
    in the world is wrong. many thanks for your concise and relevant understanding.

  29. I’m honored to obtain a call from a friend as he identified the key
    ideas shared on your website. Browsing your blog post is a real superb experience.
    Thank you for taking into consideration readers like me, and I wish you the very best.

  30. Excellent posts from you, man. I’ve understand your
    stuff and you’re way too fantastic. I in fact
    like what you have here, especially like what you are saying and the way in which you say
    it. You make it interesting. I can’t wait to read
    more of your articles. This is really an awesome website.

  31. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.|

  32. Howdy! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when browsing from my iphone 4. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share. Cheers!|

  33. Appreciating the hard work you put into your blog and in depth information you offer. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Great read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.|

  34. Hi! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when viewing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share. Appreciate it!|

  35. Hey, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog site in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, wonderful blog!

  36. Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog. Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Appreciate it|

  37. I wanted to thank you a lot more for this remarkable website you’ve developed here.
    It’s definitely is full of useful tips for those
    who are really enthusiastic about this topic,
    especially this very post.

  38. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!|

  39. Howdy! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My weblog looks weird when browsing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share. Cheers!|

  40. Heya just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same outcome.|

  41. Hello, i just planned to drop that you a line to say that we thoroughly enjoyed this
    certain post from yours, I have subscribed to your Feed and have absolutely skimmed a number of your articles or blog posts before and enjoyed every bit of them.

  42. I feel this is one of the such a lot important info for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna observation on some common things, The website style is ideal, the articles is in point of fact great : D. Just right activity, cheers|

  43. I simply wanted to thank you a lot more
    for your remarkable website you have developed here.

    It’s full of beneficialsuggestions for those who are actually
    interested in this kind of subject, mainly this post.

  44. When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I receive four emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!|

  45. Excellent website, fantastic post too! I truly love how it
    is simple on my eyes and the information are well
    written.I am wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post
    has been created. I’ve subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick!
    Have a pleasant day!

  46. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!|

  47. This design is amazing! You certainly know how to keep a
    reader amused. Between your humor and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog.
    Great job. I truly enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too great!

  48. Hello there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!|

  49. Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!|

  50. I admire the time and effort you put into your web site along with detailed information you provide.

    It’s very good to run into a blog every now and then that isn’t similar with many other materials.
    Outstanding article! I’ve saved your website and I’m including your RSS feeds
    to my Google account.

  51. Great posts from you, man. I’ve understand
    your stuff and you’re just too wonderful. I actually like what you have here, particularly like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it.

    You make it engaging. I can’t wait to read more of your posts.
    This is really a terrific website.

  52. Thanks for the wonderful blog. It was very helpful for me.
    Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well.
    This was in fact what I was looking for, and I’m glad to came here!
    Thanks for sharing the such information here.

  53. Hmm seems like like your site ate my first comment
    (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly
    enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blogger
    yet I’m still new to everything. Have you got any points for newbie blog
    writers? I’d surely treasure it.

  54. I don’t know if it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing issues with your website. It appears as though some of the written text on your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too? This might be a problem with my web browser because I’ve had this happen previously. Cheers|

  55. I’m impressed, I have to say. Seriously rarely do I encounter a blog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you have got hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the problem is some thing that not sufficient persons are speaking intelligently about. I’m very content that I stumbled across this in my search for some thing relating to this.

  56. Great post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I’m inspired! Very useful info specially the last phase :) I handle such information much. I was looking for this particular information for a long time. Thank you and good luck. |

  57. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this web site before but after browsing through a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely pleased I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!|

  58. Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good results. If you know of any please share. Many thanks!|

  59. Terrific posts from you, fella. I’ve understand your point and you’re
    simply quite great. I really like what you have here, really like what you’re stating and also the way in which you say it.
    You make it enjoyable. I cant wait to read much more from you.
    This is truly a wonderful website.

  60. Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue along with your web site in web explorer, may test this? IE still is the marketplace leader and a good section of folks will omit your fantastic writing due to this problem.|

  61. Hmm it looks like your web site ate my first
    comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll simply sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m truly enjoy your blog.
    I as well am an aspiring blog blogger yet I’m still new to the whole thing.
    Do you have any tips and hints for rookie blog writers?
    I’d really value it.

  62. As being a first timer, I am exploring online for articles
    which can be of assistance to me. Yours is very
    helpful glad to have found it. Many thanks.

  63. I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this information for my mission.|

  64. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!|

  65. You completed several good points there. I did particular searches on the issue and found lots of people can relate with along with your blog.
    Excellent post!

  66. “Hi there, simply become aware of your blog thru Google, and found that it is truly informative. I’m gonna be careful for brussels. I will be grateful should you continue this in future. Lots of other folks can be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!”

  67. I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else encountering problems with your blog. It appears like some of the text within your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This may be a problem with my browser because I’ve had this happen before. Thanks|

  68. Hi there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects? Thank you!|

  69. I am really enjoying the theme/design of your blog. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems? A couple of my blog readers have complained about my site not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any tips to help fix this problem?|

  70. I was excited to find this site. I need to to thank you for your time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely really liked every little bit of it and I have you saved to fav to see new stuff on your blog.|

  71. Just desire to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your post is just spectacular and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.|

  72. Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; many of us have created some nice methods and we are looking to trade techniques with other folks, why not shoot me an e-mail if interested.|

  73. Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you|

  74. I am really impressed along with your writing abilities and also with the structure for your blog. Is this a paid topic or did you customize it yourself? Either way stay up the nice quality writing, it’s uncommon to peer a nice blog like this one these days..|

  75. Hi there are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you require any coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!|

  76. It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this put up and if I could I want to counsel you few attention-grabbing issues or tips. Maybe you can write next articles relating to this article. I desire to learn more things about it!|

  77. With havin so much content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation? My site has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any solutions to help reduce content from being stolen? I’d really appreciate it.|

  78. I do not even know the way I finished up right here, however I assumed this submit used to be good. I don’t recognize who you might be however definitely you are going to a famous blogger in case you are not already. Cheers!|

  79. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently fast.|

  80. Hmm is anyone else having problems with the images on this blog loading? I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.|

  81. Hi! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Fantastic blog and excellent design and style.|

  82. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly return.|

  83. I’m really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one these days.|

  84. This design is wicked! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!|

  85. Somebody necessarily assist to make seriously articles I might state. This is the first time I frequented your website page and up to now? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this particular put up incredible. Excellent job!|

  86. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same results.|

  87. I blog frequently and I truly appreciate your information. Your article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your website and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed too.|

  88. Generally I do not read article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thanks, quite nice post.|

  89. You’re so interesting! I don’t think I’ve read through something like that before. So wonderful to find somebody with a few genuine thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that is required on the web, someone with a bit of originality!|

Leave a Reply