Association Committee on Education recommended that the minimum preparation for nurses be a baccalaureate degree.
Meanwhile, at MHMH new trends in nursing were taking hold—like team nursing, in which teams of nurses and assistants provided patient care. Still, the nursing school seemed caught in a time warp. Against the backdrop of the turbulent 1960s, some nursing instructors clung to old ways. Rosemary Swain, R.N., who graduated in 1966 and retired recently, has fond memories of instructors like "Miss Cummings," whose white uniform was so starched "it could have stood up by itself" and who "stood up when a doctor came in," recalls Swain. "She would never offer an opinion. She was from the days when nurses stoked the fireplaces and did it all." Even so, nurses in the 1960s were still expected to stand when a physician entered a room. "There was a distance. You didn't work as part of a team," she says. "Now at DHMC, nurses are respected members of the team."
But new ways were evident, too. In 1965, the first male student was enrolled. Some lived off campus, but others, like Nolette, lived in the dorms with the female students. His room was in Building 50, a nurse residence built in 1950. "First year I was terrified," he says. "Second and third years, it was a blast. I'd do it all over again in a second if I could." He loved caring for patients as well as the classroom work. "We knew the drugs that were out there forward and backward, what they did, how they interacted," says Nolette. He enjoyed participating in student pranks, too—like sitting their instructional mannequin,nicknamed Mrs. Chase, at the housemother's desk.
The growing sentiment that diploma schools were no longer the best way to train nurses was gaining ground as well. By 1973, MHMH was a 420-bed hospital and a component of the newly created Dartmouth- Hitchcock Medical Center. That year, the National League for Nursing put the SON on warning for failure to meet national standards. Full accreditation was restored the next year, however. Nursing administrator Marilyn Prouty, M.S., R.N., who had been hired in 1972, introduced "participatory nursing" as well as the concept of the clinical nurse specialist—a nurse with an advanced degree who is an expert in a specialty. Then, in 1974, she led a future-
Miss Cummings "was from the days when nurses stoked the fireplaces and did it all," recalls a 1966 alumna of the nursing school. Even so, nurses in the 1960s were still expected to stand when a physician entered a room. "There was a distance. You didn't work as part of a team. Now at DHMC, nurses are respected members of the team."
of-nursing-education conference, which produced a report—endorsed by SON and Hospital officials—that recommended the diploma school be phased out. In 1977, the MHMH Trustees added their endorsement.
So the last class entered in 1977. The curriculum remained strong even in the final years. One of the most challenging courses was anatomy and physiology
(A&P), which had been a mainstay of the curriculum since the early 1900s. "Everybody will remember A&P because it was taught by an extraordinarily talented and bright woman—Nan Green—and Nan was tough," says Susan Reeves, M.S., R.N., a member of the SON's final Class of 1980 and now a vice president at DHMC. "You could not get by one of her quizzes or exams having snoozed through a class or having not read your assignment or not having studied your brains out. . . . I loved her class. She was enthralling as a teacher" and a "wonderful illustrator," too. To show how the kidney filtration system worked, for instance, "she would draw an elaborate kidney on the board in intricate detail." A few years later, her notes from that class helped Reeves pass an exam that exempted her from taking anatomy and physiology in a baccalaureate program. "I remember writing [Green] a