Instructive District Nursing Association Records

The records of the IDNA constitute 2.5 linear inches and include annual reports, budgets, minutes, correspondence, a photograph and course materials, all relating to Simmons College. While the collection dates from 1912-1926, most of the material falls between 1914 and 1918, with the bulk of it bei...

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Access Note:Unrestricted access, with the exception of a paper summarizing the work of specifically named students.
Main Authors: Beard, Mary, 1876-1946 (Creator), Brackett, Jeffrey R. 1860-1949 (Creator), Hilliard, Curtis Morrison, b. 1887 (Creator), Nutting, M. Adelaide, 1858-1948 (Creator), Strong, Anne Hervey, 1876-1925 (Creator)
Corporate Authors: Instructive District Nursing Association (Boston, Mass.) (Creator), Baby Hygiene Association (Boston, Mass.) (Creator), Community Health Association (Boston, Mass.) (Creator), Simmons College (Boston, Mass.) Archives
Format: Kit
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245 1 |a Instructive District Nursing Association Records  |f 1912-1926, 
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506 |a Unrestricted access, with the exception of a paper summarizing the work of specifically named students. 
520 |a The records of the IDNA constitute 2.5 linear inches and include annual reports, budgets, minutes, correspondence, a photograph and course materials, all relating to Simmons College. While the collection dates from 1912-1926, most of the material falls between 1914 and 1918, with the bulk of it being correspondence. The collection records the development of the joint program in public health nursing with Simmons College and the IDNA under the directorship of Mary Beard and Anne Hervey Strong. The correspondence between Mary Beard, Anne Hervey Strong, and Adelaide Nutting during 1916 especially, reflects the desire of the nurses to develop more broadly the public health nursing course at Simmons, and the importance they placed on its being distinguished as a separate department. Correspondence from the later years indicates the desire of the IDNA to strengthen the program by centralizing it at one institution. The shortage of nurses in 1918 caused by World War I resulted in a campaign to improve public health nursing programs and recruit more nurses. Correspondence during 1918 documents the efforts of Mary Beard to increase the number of public health nurses by securing the support of the Red Cross, through offering more scholarships and loans, and to open the four-month course to seniors from hospital schools. The annual reports and course materials are those of the Simmons College School of Public Health Nursing and date from 1918 to 1926. These reports provide yearly summaries of the School's activities. 
545 |a The Boston Instructive District Nursing Association (IDNA), recognized as the first visiting nurse association in the United States, was founded in 1886 by Abbie C. Howes and Phoebe G. Adam. Though neither was a nurse, both of them realized the importance of nursing care in the home, having been impressed by accounts of district nursing in Liverpool, England. Members of Boston's Woman's Education Association (WEA), they convinced this group that the work of the district nurse was largely educational, rather than charitable, and the WEA gave its assistance to the Association. The name "Instructive District Nursing" was adopted to stress the educational aspect of the work. The purposes of the Association were to care for the sick in their homes and to instruct the sick and their families to better care for themselves, thus preventing further illness. The IDNA grew quickly, incorporating in 1888. Until this point, American visiting nurses were graduates of hospital schools, trained on the job. However, the importance of more formal training in social work for nurses was becoming recognized. When Harvard University and Simmons College announced in 1904 the establishment of a "Training School for Social Workers" to be directed by Jeffrey Brackett, local nurses saw it as a good opportunity for study. It was announced that one of the topics of instruction would be "Instructive visiting nursing." By 1906, the IDNA moved to larger headquarters and started a "Training School for District Nurses," the first school for that purpose in the United States. Under the IDNA's four-month course first offered in October 1906, the students were closely supervised as they worked in the districts and attended organized discussions and lectures. There were, however, no courses in science or theory. While public health nurses continued to be trained in the field, most felt there was much that would be taught more appropriately on the college level. (In 1910, Teacher's College of Columbia University announced a new "Department of Nursing and Health," to be directed by Adelaide Nutting. This was the first nursing school on the college level in the United States.) In 1912, the IDNA began to offer, in addition to the four-month program, an eight-month program in affiliation with the Boston College School for Social Workers. Students spent two-thirds of their time taking courses at the School for Social Workers and one-third in the districts. The courses were directed by Bessie Lalecheur of the IDNA during the first year and by Ada Carr until 1916. In 1914, when Curtis Hilliard arrived at Simmons College as Professor of Biology and Public Health, he began teaching public health and hygiene as part of the eight-month program. Early in 1915, Hilliard suggested to Jeffrey Brackett the possibility of a two-year program in public health nursing, the first year of which would be spent at Simmons taking science courses. Instead, the catalogue for 1915-16 lists a one year program for Public Health Nursing under the Department of Biology and Public Health of the School of General Science. With the departure of Ada Carr in 1916, Anne Hervey Strong came to Simmons from Teachers' College to organize a Department of Public Health Nursing, jointly directed by Simmons and the IDNA. Strong was also Head of the Education Department of the IDNA. In 1918, the School of Public Health Nursing at Simmons College was opened, with Strong as director. The purpose of the school was to provide a better framework for nursing education. The result was an increase in nurses, badly needed after World War I. Announced for the upcoming year was a five-year program. In late 1922 and early 1923 the IDNA began to reorganize and combine its work with that of the Baby Hygiene Association, becoming the Community Health Association (CHA). With funds running out by the end of 1923, the School was in danger of being closed on several occasions, but outside funding always was found. In a letter to Dr. Edsall of the Harvard School of Public Health, IDNA Director Mary Beard expressed the IDNA's great desire to centralize the School at one institution. Edsall's reply expressed very definite interest but Harvard, too, had a problem with financial support. In June, 1925 it seemed so likely that the School would close that applicants to the 5-year program were refused, but an appropriation from Simmons and contributions from the Red Cross and interested individuals, along with the provision of supervision of students by the CHA prevented the closing. In 1928, the Corporation of Simmons College voted to continue the School, whether or not enough contributions were received for its support. It is unclear when the CHA turned the full directorship of the School over to Simmons College. At a meeting of the Association held May 27, 1925, representatives remarked that the Association should no longer include the expenses of the School in its budget. In the 1925-26 catalogue of Simmons College, the program was offered "with cooperation" of the Community Health Association, rather than "jointly with," as had been stated previously. The two organizations continued to be affiliated closely for many years, with Simmons College students doing field work with the Community Health Association, and the Associations' general director appointed a member of the Schools' Advisory Committee. 
545 |a Mary Beard (1876 - 1946) Beard was born in Dover, New Hampshire in 1876. She graduated from the New York Hospital School of Nursing in 1903 and worked for two years in the Laboratory of Pathology of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. In 1904, she began work as a public health nurse in Waterbury, Connecticut. By 1912, she became director of the IDNA and remained with them until 1922. During her tenure the IDNA merged with the Baby Hygiene Association to form the Community Health Association and Beard became director of that association. In 1924, she left to become associate director of the International Health Division of the Rockefeller Foundation. Thus began her worldwide study of nursing including countries in Europe, the Middle East, and the Orient, aiding the development of schools of nursing in the countries visited. In 1938, Mary Beard became director of the Red Cross Nursing Service, resigning in 1944. She contributed to the development of nursing services during both WWI and WWII. Among many other accomplishments, Beard was a founder and president of the National Organization of Public Health Nursing. She died in Manhattan after a long illness. Jeffrey Richardson Brackett (1860 - 1949) Born in Quincy, Massachusetts, Brackett graduated from Harvard University in 1883. He continued his studies at Johns Hopkins, earning an M.A. and then a Ph.D. in 1889, becoming an instructor at Johns Hopkins for a short time. Brackett directed social work activities in Baltimore and was president of the Baltimore City Department of Charities and Correction. Brackett came to Boston in 1904 and helped to found the School for Social Workers of Harvard University and Simmons College, directing the School for sixteen years. He was chairman of the Massachusetts State Board of Charities from 1906-1919 and of the State Board of Public Welfare from 1919 to 1934. Brackett died in Charleston, South Carolina. His personal papers are in the Simmons College Archives. Ada Carr (18?? - ?) Ada Carr was born in England in the parish of Kenilworth in the county of Warwick, and came to the Johns Hopkins Training School for Nurses in 1891 after spending some years with her brother in Canada. After graduation she became a head nurse at Johns Hopkins, and then assistant superintendent of nurses during Adelaide Nutting's tenure as superintendent and principal of the training school. Carr left Johns Hopkins to become superintendent of the Instructive Visiting Nurse Association of Baltimore. In 1902, she became superintendent of the Newport Hospital in Rhode Island, but later returned to Johns Hopkins to become the country's first full-time instructor for nurses. She arrived in Boston in 1913 to direct the IDNA's program for public health nurses. In 1916, she left the IDNA to work for the National Organization of Public Health Nursing on the national level. She became a consulting editor for the organizations' magazine, The Public Health Nurse, in 1918. When the magazine was moved to New York from Cleveland in 1923, Ada Carr became editor, retiring from the position in 1930. Curtis Morrison Hilliard (1888 - 1969) Born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, Hilliard attended Boston's Chauncey Hall School, graduated from Dartmouth College in 1910, and matriculated at MIT in the program in Public Health Science. A year later, he went to City College of New York as a biology instructor. After two years at CCNY, he went to Purdue University as assistant professor of Bacteriology. In 1914, he came to Simmons College as associate professor and head of the Department of Biology and Health. His interest in the program for Public Health Nurses was immediate and great, seeing these nurses as "the most strategic public health force of the future rendering... the most service." He was a member of the programs' advisory committee throughout its development. Hilliard retired from Simmons College in July, 1952. He served on many public health committees, including the National Tuberculosis Association. Hilliard retired as supervisor for Boards of Health in Wellesley, Weston and Needham in 1956. He died at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Mary Adelaide Nutting (1858-1948) Adelaide Nutting was a leading figure in both the nursing profession and nursing education. Born in 1858, she was a member of the first class of Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School for Nurses in Baltimore, Maryland. After graduating, she remained at Johns Hopkins until 1907, first as a head nurse, then as assistant superintendent of nurses, and finally, as superintendent of nurses and principal of the training school. She soon became a leader of the move to bring nursing education to the college level. She became involved in a program in hospital economics at Teachers College, Columbia University, traveling between New York and Baltimore during 1899-1907. In 1907, she left Johns Hopkins and became a professor in institutional management at Teachers College, the first nurse appointed to a university chair. In 1910, the Department of Nursing and Health was announced. She retired in 1925, yet remained active in the field and continued her campaign to encourage the creation of endowments for nursing schools. She died in 1948, at the age of eighty-nine. Anne Hervey Strong (1876-1925) Anne Hervey Strong graduated from Bryn Mawr in 1898, concentrating in science. She entered the Albany Training School for Nurses in 1903 and after graduating, stayed at Albany as a supervisor. She left Albany to teach at Miss Wheeler's School for Girls in Providence, but her summer vacations were spent doing volunteer work at the Henry Street Nursing Service in New York. Strong moved to New York in 1913 to study under Adelaide Nutting at the Department of Nursing and Health of Teachers College, remaining at the school from 1914 to 1916 as an instructor. In 1916, she arrived in Boston where she quickly organized the department, and then School of Public Health Nursing. She remained at Simmons until her death in 1925. Anne Strong was a leader in both public health nursing and nursing education, and a member of many committees and organizations. 
650 0 |a Community health nursing 
650 0 |a Nursing  |z Massachusetts 
650 0 |a Nursing  |x Study and teaching 
650 0 |a Nursing schools  |z Massachusetts 
650 0 |a Public health nurses  |z Massachusetts 
650 0 |a Public health nursing  |z Massachusetts 
650 0 |a Public health nursing  |x Study and teaching 
650 0 |a Visiting nurses  |z Massachusetts 
700 1 |a Beard, Mary,  |d 1876-1946  |e creator 
700 1 |a Brackett, Jeffrey R.  |q (Jeffrey Richardson),  |d 1860-1949  |e creator 
700 1 |a Hilliard, Curtis Morrison,  |d b. 1887  |e creator 
700 1 |a Nutting, M. Adelaide,  |d 1858-1948  |q Mary Adelaide  |e creator 
700 1 |a Strong, Anne Hervey,  |d 1876-1925  |e creator 
710 2 |a Baby Hygiene Association (Boston, Mass.)  |e creator 
710 2 |a Community Health Association (Boston, Mass.)  |e creator 
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