The Maine School of Practical Nursing opened a facility in Waterville in 1957 and continued teaching practical nursing there until about 1980 when changes in the profession and in the state's educational structure led to its demise.
Rebecca Usher of Hollis was 41 and single when she joined the Union nursing service at the U.S. General Hospital at Chester, Pennsylvania. Her time there and later at City Point, Virginia, were defining experiences of her life.
Sarah Sampson of Bath went to war with her husband, a captain in the 3rd Maine Regiment. With no formal training, she spent the next four and a half years providing nursing and other services to soldiers. Even after her husband became ill and returned to Maine, Sampson remained in the Washington, D.C., area aiding the sick and wounded.
Mercy continually received praise for the quality of its nursing program. A grateful patient writing in 1967 singled out “Miss Cyr Junior Student”…
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12
Content Area: Social Studies
This lesson plan will give students the opportunity to read and analyze letters, literature, and other primary documents and articles of material culture from the MHS collections relating to how people in Maine have given and received healthcare throughout history. Students will discuss the giving and receiving of medicines and treatments from the 18th-21st centuries, the evolving role of hospitals since the 19th century, and how the nursing profession has changed since the Civil War. Students will also look at how people and healthcare facilities in Maine have addressed epidemics in the past, such as influenza and tuberculosis, and what we can learn today from studying the history of healthcare and medicine.