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Centennial of 19th Amendment: Women and St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing, 1920 (Part 4)

by Nathalie Wheaton on 2020-08-27T08:00:00-05:00 in Archives, History | 0 Comments

Today, we conclude our look back at the women that worked and studied at Rush’s predecessor schools and hospitals one hundred years ago, at the time of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. This 1920 Amendment declared in part, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” 

St. Luke’s Hospital, established in what is now considered the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago, developed its training school for nurses, St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing, in 1885.

In 1920, St. Luke’s alumni were heavily involved in public health nursing and social services in Chicago. They kept statistics and produced studies and reports in an effort to support greater societal change.

CAPTION (top): Nursing students strike patriotic poses in the 1919 St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing yearbook, The Voyageur.*.

The St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing Annual Announcement, 1920, includes some wonderful photographs of nursing students training and their facilities.

CAPTION (bottom): Nursing students and Occupational Therapy (a new department for the hospital in 1920), Annual Announcement, St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing, 1920.**

Occupational therapy was a fairly new profession in 1920, having gained prominence in the years following World War I. Occupational therapy grew from an increased need to rehabilitate wounded soldiers and veterans who sustained injuries and long-term disabilities during the war. 

St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing introduced a requirement of 16 hours of courses on occupational therapy after World War I. These courses included, "Lectures in  social aspects of disease. Lessons in basketry, weaving, carpentry, painting, stencilling, embroidery, etc. Talks on the therapeutic value of occupational work during convalescence."

Want to learn more about the history of Rush or the Rush Archives collections? Explore the Rush Archives website, or contact the archivist, Nathalie Wheaton, MSLS.

All documents and photographs belong to the records collections of Rush University Medical Center Archives, Chicago, Ill. Contact the archivist for permissions and full citations.



Presbyterian and St. Luke's Hospital merged in 1956. Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital merged with the newly reorganized Rush Medical College in 1969, to become Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center (RPSLMC). RPSLMC was renamed Rush University Medical Center in 2003, to better reflect its status as a leading academic research center. 

MORE in this blog series:

Centennial of 19th Amendment: Women and Rush Medical College, 1920 (Part 1) [August 13, 2020]

Centennial of 19th Amendment: Women and Presbyterian Hospital, 1920 (Part 2) [August 18, 2020]

Centennial of 19th Amendment: Women and St. Luke’s Hospital, 1920 (Part 3) [August 25, 2020]

Centennial of 19th Amendment: Women and St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing, 1920 (Part 4) [August 27, 2020]

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