Knoxville’s First Mid-Century Male Nursing Students Enrolled, 1958

[The newspaper articles below failed to recognize John Brockman, graduate of Lincoln Memorial School of Nursing in 1913.]

Two Men Join Girls in Nurses’ Training

Presbyterian Hospital’s new nurses’ training class has two men in it, the first time men have been admitted to the hospital’s nurses’ course.

The two are Joe Harrison, 24, of Loudon, and Howard Mayfield, 25, of 110 Mayfield Avenue.  The two joined 33 girls who began training Monday.

Source: Knoxville News-Sentinel, September 3, 1958, page 12


Howard Leroy Mayfield was a graduate of Young High School, where he played football.  He was the son of Sam W. and Gertrude Lee Mayfield, 110 Mayfield Avenue, Knoxville.  Howard served in the Army, having been stationed at Walter Reed Hospital, before enrolling at Fort Sanders.

In May, 1960, Howard was elected President of the Knoxville District of the Tennessee Association of Student Nurses.

The photo below appeared in the Knoxville News-Sentinel August 25, 1961, on page 22.

Part of the accompanying article (the remainder is in another post, because it contains details of the graduation and graduates’ names):

Male Breaks into Knox Nursing Circle

A 28-year-old former service man will be the first male to graduate from a school of nursing at a Knoxville hospital, Presbyterian Hospital officials said today.

He is Howard Leroy Mayfield, son of Mrs. G. L. Mayfield, 110 Mayfield Ave., who will receive a diploma in professional nursing from the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing Monday night.  The three other Knoxville hospitals do not accept male students in their nursing programs.

What has the bachelor nurse planned for the future?  First, he’s going to marry his 21-year-old classmate, Imogene Brooks, from Harriman.  She’ll also graduate Monday night.  Then the two of them will work on the staff of University Hospital this fall.

New in South

Mrs. B. C. Longmire, Jr., director of nursing education at Presbyterian, said male nurses are something new in the South but that in the North they are not unusual.

Source: https://www.fsregional.com/100th-anniversary/


Lt. Mayfield, Wife in Japan

Nurses’ Dorm Is out for Knoxville Male

Source: Knoxville News-Sentinel, August 19, 1964, page 48

There’s nothing unusual about a nurse being assigned to live in a nurses’ dormitory.  That is unless the nurse just happens to be a man.

That was the experience faced by a Knoxville male nurse, 2nd Lt. Howard Mayfield, when he was sent by the Army to work in its hospital in Sagamihara, Japan.  Naturally, other arrangements were made quickly.

Lt. Mayfield, who graduated from Presbyterian Hospital’s School of Nursing in 1961, was the first male nurse to graduate from a school of nursing in Knoxville.  The three other Knoxville hospitals don’t accept male students in their nursing programs.

Shortly after he graduated, Lt. Mayfield, now 31, married his nursing school classmate, Imogene Brooks, now 24.  The couple worked together as nurses at University Hospital for a year and at Eastern State Hospital four months.

Then in April, 1963, they both went in the Army’s Nurse Corps as commissioned officers.  (By the way, it is also 2nd Lt. Imogene Mayfield now.)  And both were assigned to the same hospital in Japan.

Howard’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. Sam W. Mayfield, 110 Mayfield Ave.  Imogene’s mother is Mrs. Viola J. Brooks, Rt. 4, Harriman.


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