Online Exhibits@Yale

1934-1950s: Post-Baccalaureate Nursing and the War Years

In 1934 the entrance requirements were raised to a bachelor's degree. The first Masters of Nursing degree (MN) was conferred in 1937. The last MN class graduated in 1958.

Effie Jane Taylor Teaching Nursing by the Application of the Case Study Method (Taylor, Effie J.)

Effie Jane Taylor, Second Dean of Yale School of Nursing, 1934-1944
First Professor of Psychiatric Nursing in the World

Euphemia (Effie) Jane Taylor was born in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1874. Following her graduation from Hamilton Collegiate Institute and the Wesleyan Ladies College in Hamilton, she enrolled at The Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School of Nursing and received her diploma in 1907. She obtained a certificate from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 1909, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Columbia University in 1926. She was also awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Human Letters from Keuka College in 1944. Prior to her appointment as associate professor at Yale in 1923, Taylor held various positions at The Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School for Nursing and served as director and chief nurse at the Army School of Nursing from 1918 to 1919. She also served as executive secretary for the National League of Nursing in 1923. In addition to her appointment at the Yale School of Nursing, she was superintendent of nurses at New Haven Hospital from 1923 to 1934 and became the first professor of psychiatric nursing in the world. In 1934, she was appointed the second dean of the Yale School of Nursing, a position she held until 1944. A strong believer in a liberal education, Taylor worked to broaden the nursing curriculum. She died in 1970.

Yale School of Nursing Class of 1945 Yale School of Nursing Class of 1945W

War Years and Accelerated Curriculum

As World War II years witnessed an increased need for nurses, Yale School of Nursing admitted a second class in April 1943. The curriculum was accelerated first to 30 months for the class of 1944, and then to 28 months for the class of 1945. More than one class graduated per year. The photos show the classes of 1945 and 1945W. The class of 1947W was the last "war" class.

Elizabeth Seelye Bixler

Elizabeth Seelye Bixler, Third Dean of the Yale School of Nursing, 1944-1959

Elizabeth Bixler, appointed third Dean of YSN in 1944, had been a member of the school's faculty since 1927. had received her bachelor's degree from Smith College in 1922, a master's degree from Radcliffe in 1926, before graduating from Yale School of Nursing in 1927. Like Taylor, she specialized in psychiatric nursing, holding faculty and clinical faculty positions from 1927 to 1944, as well as administrative positions in several psychiatric hospitals in New York. During her deanship, YSN graduated its first African-American (1946) and its first man (1955). The most important issue during her tenure was the future mission of the school. During the war, the need for medical service had compromised the educational ideals of the school. The faculty worked on a curriculum that would provide basic nursing education to holders of a bachelors degree (MN) as well as a more advanced nursing education (MSN) that would prepare nurses for leadership positions. Due to a number of factors including lack of funds and disgreements with the Hospital regarding staffing issues, Yale President Whitney Griswold, who opposed vocational programs at Yale, decided that a smaller MSN program, conducted as a true graduate program, would be more appropriate for Yale than the basic nursing program. Although the school gained the MSN program, the Yale Corporation, against the wishes of the nursing faculty, closed the basic program in 1956. The last class graduated in 1958.

Student nurse with pediatric patients Louisa Urey Murray playing guitar

Pediatric Nursing

In the top photo, a student nurse can be seen educating pediatric patients in the Children's Ward about dairy animals in 1939.

A guitar could be a valuable tool for a pediatric nurse. The bottom photo depicts Louisa Urey Murray, Yale School of Nursing Class of '54 and later a public health nurse in Fairfax County, Virginia, who devoted the elective month during her senior year at Yale to a project in music therapy for the hospitalized children. (Photo by Alburtus-Yale News Bureau, 1954.)

Room in Sterling Dormitory, ca. 1945

Room in Sterling Dormitory

This 1945 photograph depicts two nursing students in their dormitory room, engaged in leisure activities: reading and knitting.

Yale School of Nursing 25th Anniversary Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Exercises of the Yale University School of Nursing

Yale School of Nursing 25th Anniversary Celebration, February 5, 1949

Seated left to right: Miss Annie W. Goodrich, first Dean of the School of Nursing; President Charles Seymour of Yale University; Mrs. Eleanor Robson Belmont, prominent figure in philanthropic and social work; and James Rowland Angell, President Emeritus of Yale University. Standing are: Dr. Milton C. Winternitz, Anthony N. Brady Professor of Pathology at Yale; Miss Effie J. Taylor, second Dean of the Nursing School; Dr. Alan Gregg, Director of the Division of the Medical Sciences of the Rockefeller Foundation; Miss Elizabeth S. Bixler, Dean of the Nursing School; and Dr. C.E.A.(Charles Edward Amory) Winslow, Ana M.R. Lander Professor Emeritus of Public Health at Yale University.

Twenty-fifth Anniversary Memento: "Yale Now Has a School of Nursing"

Memento from the 25th Anniversary Celebration

This cartoon appeared on page one of the Boston Herald in 1923 when Yale School of Nursing first opened. It was reprinted on napkins at the time of Yale School of Nursing 25th Anniversary in 1948.

1934-1950s: Post-Baccalaureate Nursing and the War Years