The mission of Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association, Inc. is to promote the legacy of the organization through alumni activity, health awareness, educational scholarships, mentoring opportunities, historical preservation and community service interventions. The Alumni Association is dedicated to the provision and delivery of quality nursing care from birth to infinity.
In 1901, on the corner of Proctor Street and Cozart Avenue, a frame structure was erected to serve as a hospital for the Black community. Mr. Washington Duke had planned to erect a monument in memory of the slaves who had served his family during the antebellum period. Credit is given to Drs. Aaron M. Moore, Stanford L. Warren and Mr. John Merrick who convincingly argued that a hospital for descendants of slaves would be more serviceable than a monument.
Although the hospital was for the care of black people, it became obvious that there was a need to have trained nurses. Through the special efforts of Dr. Charles Shepard and Ms. Julia Latta, Lincoln Hospital Training School of Nursing was founded in 1903.
Ms. Julia Latta, co-founder of the school served as director from 1903 to 1911. There were directors over the course of the school’s operation from 1903-1971.
They were Mrs. Pattie Carter, 1911-1938; Mrs. Henrietta Farrar, Mrs. Edith Steel Scott and Mrs. Beulah Jackson, 1938-1945 and Mrs. Lucille Zimmerman Williams, 1945-1971.
The original program was a two year diploma program until 1907 when it was extended to three years. The school admitted two classes a year until 1945 and then classes were admitted only once a year. Admission requirements ranged from a high school diploma to an entrance exam.
The objective of the school of nursing was to prepare young black women to fulfill the nursing role in a changing democratic sophisticated society. The curriculum design included courses in natural and social sciences to be taken at North Carolina College in Durham, N.C. The specialty areas of Pediatrics and Psychiatry were taught through affiliations at Friedman’s Hospital, Washington, D.C.; Meharry Hospital, Nashville, TN; Crownsville Hospital, Maryland; Eastern State Hospital, Lexington, KY; Cherry Hospital, Goldsboro, N.C.; John Umstead Hospital, Butner, N.C.; Bellevue Hospital, Bellevue, NY; Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati, OH; and Scarborough Nursery and Watts Hospital, Durham, N.C.
Instruction and supervision of students were done by physicians and nursing supervisors within the hospital. Initially, the tuition for the program was free and students provided much service to the patients. Later years, students experienced a rise in tuition but continued to provide service to the hospital.
In 1924, as a result of a fire that partially destroyed the facility along with the need for more space, Lincoln Hospital and the School of Nursing moved to its second location on Fayetteville Street and Linwood Avenue.
Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing graduated 614 young women who were prepared to meet the challenges of nursing. Graduates have achieved international, national and state recognition for notable contributions to nursing. There are many who have been recognized as “the first” in numerous areas within the profession.
In 1971, the school of nursing closed but the contributions and achievements of its graduates continue. How frequently we hear the phrase, “she’s a Lincoln Nurse”.
It was a deliberate decision to continue alumni activities every two years with nurses and friends of Lincoln locally and nationally so that we may carry on the Lincoln Hospital school of Nursing tradition. In 2003, the alumni celebrated its Centennial.