Bethesda Hospital School of Nursing
First Training School for Nurses in November 1893
Zanesville City Hospital, dedicated in January 1891, established the first Training School for Nurses in November 1893. Two years later in 1895 the graduates were Nina B. Prentice, Emily C. Greiner and Sarah L. Henry.
In 1907, Zanesville City Hospital was renamed Bethesda. The Training School subsequently became known as the Bethesda Hospital School of Nursing. It continued to flourish and eventually 663 women graduated from Nov. 11, 1895 to June 13, 1969. The school’s colors were blue and gold, and one of its 1933 graduates, Lucille McBrayer Thomas, composed the school song, “Bethesda Loyalty.”
Chartered Feb. 2, 1918, our Bethesda Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association remains strong with 306 living members. In September 2007 our oldest living graduate, Mary Kathleen Roberts Selsam, 101 years old, class of 1927, was not only able to attend our banquet but was the keynote speaker.
Our association has been active in contributing money to the hospital to provide such items as rotating tourniquets and room 333 at Genesis-Bethesda campus. Our Association has two annual functions yearly – a July picnic and our September Annual Banquet to recognize our 50-year graduates. We publish an annual newsletter to keep our graduates informed.
We have accurately documented that at least 51 of our graduates served active duty in the military from World War I to present. Bronze Stars were award to three of those nurses: Mary Moore Stickel, class of 1942; Pat Stemm, class of 1956; and Mary Lou Messerschmidt, class of 1958.
When the last nursing dorm, which was built in 1953, was demolished in January 1996, a time capsule was opened and those articles were on display at the Bethesda campus.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of nursing at Genesis, visit the history wall and archives in the main lobby of Genesis Hospital. You can also find copies of our graduation composites and programs in the genealogy section of the Muskingum County Library, 220 N. 5th St., Zanesville, or the Stone Academy, 115 Jefferson St., Zanesville.