[The following information was taken from a booklet prepared in 1955. The booklet is referred to by KGH graduates as “the little gold book” because of its cover.]
The Knoxville General Hospital Training School for Nurses was chartered in 1902 and opened April 17, 1902.
The first classes felt that the Board of Directors and the Women’s Board, which promoted the building of Knoxville General Hospital in 1902, used a great deal of forethought in selection of a superintendent for the first hospital that was to serve the whole of East Tennessee, to Atlanta, Asheville, Roanoke, and Lexington. Miss Jeanette M. Paulus, a graduate of the Episcopal Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was already affiliated with her organization before leaving Pennsylvania. Miss Paulus kindly consented to give her services to Knoxville General Hospital for the very small sum of $40.00 per month.
Miss Mae DeArmond was director of nurses for the first six months. In September, 1902, she was married to Dr. B. D. Bosworth and resigned her position. Then, Miss Paulus succeeded in securing the services of Miss Lillian L. White, one of her own alumna, as director of nurses and an outstanding personality in conducting a training school for nurses.
On April 17, 1905, the first class of eight nurses was graduated. That same morning, the alumnae was organized, and, three days later, we were asked to return to organize a graduate nurses association. The meeting was held in the dining room of the Knoxville General Hospital. Those present at that first meeting were: Miss Edith Savage, Miss Pinkerton, Miss Landis, Miss Emma Nelson, who were out-of-state graduate nurses, and others doing private duty at that time in Knoxville, and the first graduating class of Knoxville General Hospital, with Miss Lillian L. White as president. Constitution and by-laws were accepted, by which the organization was to be called East Tennessee Graduate Nurses Association. At that time, there was a little race being run as to which part of the state would complete the first graduate nurses organization. It was soon learned here that Memphis had organized a few days before — hence, we are known as District No. 2. These two organizations formed a nucleus for the state organization, now known as Tennessee State Nurses Association.
To the present date, there have been 816 nurses graduate from the school.
The aim of the school has always been to offer a program of instruction that will prepare nurses to give expert nursing care, an opportunity to understand and develop their own personal and professional potentialities, to give them an appreciation of the function and obligation of the nurse in society, and to provide a sound basis for the selection of appropriate fields in which to practice as a graduate nurse.
There has never been and endowment fund or any kind of donations to the School. All through the years, the graduates have shown their allegiance and loyalty to the school. One of the Alumnae’s noteworthy acts is the establishment of the Lillian L. White Loan Fund in 1930. Its purpose is to assist graduate nurses of the school in securing further education. Miss Mary Trigg Jackson, who was in the first graduating class, gave $100 to this fund. This fund has been used wisely and effectively.
Another is the Jane Keller Loan Fund, established in 1951 to assist student nurses of the school who incur financial difficulties. Several students have used this fund to help them finish training.
If the Knoxville General Hospital School of Nursing should close when the University of Tennessee Memorial Isotopic Research Hospital is completed — all students enrolled at that time will be transferred to the Research Hospital to complete the nursing course.