History of the College of Nursing
The Sisters of Charity and the Friars of the Franciscan Order will always be linked with the establishment of a School of Nursing in San Juan de Dios Hospital. An outgrowth of the early struggles of the Franciscan Friars, the School of Nursing saw its first existence in the year 1913 when, on June 6th, through the initiation of the Junta Inspectora and the Hospital Director, Dr. Benito Valdes, the Hospital Executive Board decided to open a training school for nurses because of the growing demand for more trained hospital personnel to care for the afflicted and the sick. Prior to the opening of the training school, nursing care of the sick and the afflicted was in the hands of the Franciscan friars, who, unable to cope up with the increasing number of the patients, had to require the help of houseboys in order to meet with their pressing needs. Thus, such was the condition of the hospital in its early days of existence that, when the hospital was turned over to the Sister of charity, the same order of things continued for quite a time.
However, with the coming of the Americans and the improvement of the hospital facilities and administrative staff, a new order of things was established. Foremost, of which was the establishment of the School of Nursing in line with the policy of the institution to give efficient and prompt service to its ever growing number of patients. This policy demanded for better and highly trained hospital personnel who would render not only the best nursing care to the patients but who would also look after their spiritual and moral well being. Hence, it was with the policy in view that the School of Nursing was actually opened by the executive Board in collaboration with Dr. Benito Valdes.
The School of Nursing of the San Juan de Dios Hospital, at present is simply an outgrowth of the early years of educational struggle that it had undergone after the end of the war in the Philippines. Coming from its early humble and normal beginnings, the School of Nursing has upheld to such an extent, its main educational purpose in order that it may keep pace with the latest trends in Nursing Education.
Since its primal aim is to produce good Catholic nurses who will uphold and practice the high ideals and dignity of the Nursing profession, the School of Nursing had designed its courses of instruction in such a way that they will conform not only to the latest and modern trends of Nursing education and Nursing service but will also inculcate the ideals of Christian charity which are indispensable for the efficient and ethical practice of the nursing profession.
Enhanced by the sincere desire to help in the rehabilitation of a war-ravaged Philippines during the early period of the liberation and to meet the country’s urgent need for more efficient, capable, and trained nurses, the School of Nursing opened once more its door and dedicated its sole energy to the education and training of students along the field of Nursing Service.
Thus, the year 1953 saw again the reopening of the School of Nursing of the San Juan de Dios Hospital, whose administrative officers were composed of Dr. Augusto J.D. Cortes, as the Director of the Hospital and Sor Taciana Triñanes, R.N., B.S.N., Ph.D., as Directress of the School.
In the beginning, the School of Nursing offered a three-year course leading to the title of a graduate nurse. Under this curriculum, the subjects, offered were comparatively few. General Nursing being one of them. The first, second, and the third year courses were offered on a semestral basis. The first batch of students who were admitted into the newly established School of Nursing in the year 1913 was only five, with the teaching staff composed of only four doctors and one graduate nurse. Instruction was given in both the English and Spanish languages. Requirements for admission were very liberal for, at the time, even intermediate students were being accepted. Out of the five students that enrolled at the opening of the School, three were able to graduate in the year 1916.
The year 1920 marked a memorable date in the history of the training school for nurses, with the appointment of Dr. Gregorio Singian as Director of the Hospital. A new impetus was given to the organization of the already advancing nursing school. Desirous of improving and elevating the educational standards of the institution, the school administrative staff, this time, required students entering the nursing profession to be graduates of the high school and to present a certificate of good health and good moral character before they can qualify for admission into the training school. The result of such a requirement was shown by the fact that in 1927 enrollment in the School of Nursing had increased up to one hundred fourteen students. On the other hand, the teaching staff increased, too, for now there were twelve physicians, six graduate nurses, and one masseur to cultivate and develop the intellectual capabilities of the students to their fullest level. It is to be noted that the Principal-in-charge of the school is a Sister of Charity who is, at the same time, a graduate nurse. New improvements were introduced by the Hospital Director, they being the establishment of a library, the opening of a kitchen for the use of the class in dietetics, the installing of a laboratory for bacteriology and urinalysis, the acquisition of more anatomical charts, specimens, and mannequins to use for practical demonstration, and the construction of a spacious dormitory that can accommodate more than one hundred students, besides the graduate nurses who are in the service of the hospital. As in previous years, the training course was offered for three years.
Now, the School of Nursing is a far cry from its early existence. It is a School that has lived up to the modern trends and standards of the Nursing profession. Its enrollment had increased considerably, it having about three hundred or more students whose mental and physical make-up is being well-developed by the School’s high trained and specialized teaching staff. Aside from nursing subjects, cultural courses were given to students in order to afford them a well rounded education and in order that they may become assets to our young and growing country.
The accomplishments done by the School of Nursing, San Juan de Dios Hospital are but mute tribute to the ideal for which it is dedicated. Today, the new Nurse’s Home building stands by the side of the hospital. Its construction is attributed to the efforts of the present director Dr. Augusto J.D. Cortes, who had the welfare of the nursing students in mind. Anyone who comes along Dewey Boulevard will always be attracted by this imposing new building, as it stands against the background of the azure skies, a symbol of unending sacrifice, unswerving devotion, unselfish care, and undying love for the eradication of pain and of sickness of the afflicted humanity.
THE SOUVENIR OF THE INAUGURATION AND BLESSING OF THE NEW NURSES’ HOME
HOSPITAL DE SAN JUAN DE DIOS
April 16, 1959