The Bethel Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing was an integral part of the Bethel Deaconess Hospital. The charter of the Bethel Deaconess Home and Hospital Society of Newton, Kansas, issued in 1903, stated: ". . . the purposes for which this corporation is formed are as follows: (a) the establishment and maintaining of a training school to educate and train nurses and deaconesses in a hospital to be erected for that purpose in connection with said school."
The Bethel Deaconess Hospital, with its School of Nursing, was dedicated and opened for service 11 June 1908. Sister Frieda Kaufman served as Superintendent and Deaconess Mother. Sister Catherine Voth was director and instructor of student nurses. The first student to enroll was Anna Janz on 26 September 1908. By 1959 approximately 410 students had graduated and served as missionaries, ministers' wives, nurses, and homemakers. The alumnae association was organized in 1920. In 1959 the capacity was 60 students in a regular three-year course. The School of Nursing was accredited and approved by the Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education in the State of Kansas.
The realization that nursing education should be in an academic community led the Bethel Deaconess nursing program to associate with Hesston (Kansas) College and Bethel College, where students would take their supporting courses in addition to the nursing courses taught at Bethel Deaconess Hospital. Admission to the program opened to men in the mid-1960s and to married students in 1969.
The decision to close the Bethel Deaconess School of Nursing in 1974 was based on the trend in nursing education to shift responsibility for educating nurses from hospitals to educational institutions and the dearth of faculty with academic qualification and leadership abilities needed for nursing education. During its 66 years in operation, the Bethel Deaconess School of Nursing graduated 660 nurses.
Bethel College Alumni Association. "History of the Bethel Deaconess Hospital/Bethel College Nursing Program." http://www.bethelks.edu/alumni/association/nurses/history.php (accessed 10 August 2009).
Wiebe, Katie Funk. Our lamps were lit : an informal history of the Bethel Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing. Newton, KS: Bethel Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association, 1978.
|Author(s)||Lena Mae Smith|
 Cite This Article
Smith, Lena Mae and Sam Steiner. "Bethel Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing (Newton, Kansas, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2009. Web. 26 May 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bethel_Deaconess_Hospital_School_of_Nursing_(Newton,_Kansas,_USA)&oldid=91083.
Smith, Lena Mae and Sam Steiner. (2009). Bethel Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing (Newton, Kansas, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 May 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bethel_Deaconess_Hospital_School_of_Nursing_(Newton,_Kansas,_USA)&oldid=91083.
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