LMU Graduate Ophelia Hornsby Appointed to First State Nursing Board in 1911

Miss Ophelia Hornsby on State Nurse Board

Knoxville Woman is East Tennessee Member of New Commission
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Board’s Duties Defined
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To Issue Certificates to Nurses, After Proper Examinations
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(Sentinel-News Special.)

Nashville, May 5. — Gov. Hooper, acting under the provisions of the general law passed at the present session of the general assembly, yesterday appointed the members of the state board of examiners of nurses, a board created for the first time in Tennessee.  Five women were named as follows:

Miss Viola M. Barnes and Miss Malvina Nisbit, Nashville: Mrs. Lena A. Warner and Miss Levinia Dunnivant, Memphis, and Miss Ophelia Hornsby, Knoxville.

The middle and western division get two members each and East Tennessee one, it being agreed that the east section should draw two members the next time.  The board members serve for five years and any vacancy on the board is filled by the remaining members.   The governor re-appoints five years hence, but he is not allowed to name any one who has not the indorsement [sic] of the local society of the applicant.  Two old members must always be retained on the board when the reappointment are made.

The members do not draw any pay but their expenses are paid out of the fund secured from the certificates issued, for which a charge of $5 is made.  The registration of this certificate with the county court clerk where the nurse resides costs fifty cents and this registration calls for a license that entitles the trained nurse to practice her profession.

The members of the board appointed by the governor must meet in the next sixty days for organization and must select a chairman and secretary.  Nurses must procure certificates from the board within sixty days after the organization and this must be recorded with the county court clerk.  The certificates are not granted unless the applicant has had as much as two years’ service in a Tennessee school or authority from some outside institution.

The secretary must keep a record of all certificates issued and the county court clerk must also keep a record of the certificate upon which he issues the license to each particular nurse.  The board must meet in each grand division of the state as often as once each year to examine applicants, the meeting places being Memphis, Knoxville and Nashville.

Nurses who have been serving for as long as five years will be granted licenses if they show to the satisfaction of the board their ability to mentally, morally and physically continue to practice their profession.  This rule shall also apply to senior pupils.  The licensee to these classes must be procured before June 1, 1911.  As it is only three weeks until that time the board will be quite busy issuing certificates after the organization.

The law enacted does not apply to those who nurse gratis or persons who do not claim to be “licensed nurses.”  No one can serve as a trained nurse without a certificate after six months’ time from the passage of the bill.  No one can take the position of a licensed nurse without having a license and no drug store can keep a list of the unlicensed nurses unless it is expressed on the list that the person is unlicensed.

The fine for the violation of the law is from $25 to $250.  A certificate may be revoked for drunkenness, drug addiction, neglect of a patient, conviction of felony crimes, incompetency or immorality.  They must, however, be given a trial and thirty days’ notice of the trial.

Source:  Knoxville Sentinel, 05 May 1911, Page 2 


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