On Dec. 1, 1884, nine young women began their introduction to the world of professional nursing at St. Lukes School of Nursing on the campus of St. Lukes Hospital in Bethlehem, Pa. These women were the first class to graduate from the school, which today is the nations oldest hospital-based, diploma school in continuous operation.
In the fall, the school celebrated its 125th anniversary with two events its annual homecoming Oct. 17 and a celebration in early November including the whole St. Lukes Network.Four members of the class of 1955 wear a selection of nursing uniforms. From left, Helen Kocher Snyder, Dolores Tubio Scheisser, St. Lukes SON Director Sandy Mesics, Eleanor Szakmeister Massi, and Patricia Frankenfield Hartzell take part in the festivities.
The schools reputation flourished in the 1920s and 30s. During World War II, St. Lukes SON was approved for the Cadet Nurse Corps program.
Many of our graduates have served in the military, Bernice M. Kucsan, RN, CPHQ, FNAHQ, president of the alumni association of St. Lukes SON and graduate of the class of 1954, said in a news release. Our nurses have served proudly in World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan, as well as in peacetime. Others have chosen to specialize in areas like teaching or in clinical specialties, case management, quality improvement, or to work in schools or become nurse practitioners.
In the past 125 years, more than 4,000 women and men have graduated from St. Lukes SON.