Psychiatric Nursing Education Program Begins
Social Work Education is Initiated
Gertrude A. Stokes, RN, MA, PhD, a graduate of John Hopkins with an M.A. from Teacher’s College, Columbia, became the first psychiatric nursing supervisor and instructor in nursing education in July 1950. She received her PhD in 1970 from New York University. Initiation of assignments of social casework students from Smith College for Social Workers. The first class of medical students in Psychiatry completed training in 1950.
Dr. Stokes’ first task was to develop a graduate psychiatric nursing training program, which she did with funds she received from the Public Health Service and the National Institute of Mental Health under the Mental Health Act of 1946. In 1952, five full-time and three part-time students enrolled and participated in various didactic and clinical aspects of the teaching program. (Romano, Annual Report, 1951-1952). This psychiatric nursing program was described in an article in the American Journal of Nursing in 1956, the first article published by a psychiatric nurse in the UR Dept. of Psychiatry. Didactic courses included Personality Development, Reaction to Illness, and dynamics of interpersonal relationships, emphasizing those of the nurse and the patient. (Stokes, 1956, p. 598).
This advanced psychiatric nursing program was discontinued. Dr. Stokes left in 1956 to take a position as Assistant Professor of Psychiatric Nursing at Wayne State University and worked at the Maimonides Medical Center in New York City. In 1956, the School of Nursing was not a college in the University of Rochester, so faculty positions were unavailable.
Lofthouse, E. M., & Stokes, G. A. (1953). Nursing Care of Children with Cancer. The American Journal of Nursing, 53(4), 415–418. https://doi.org/10.2307/3459656
Stokes, G. A. (1956). Teaching Psychiatric Nursing. The American Journal of Nursing, 56(5), 598–600.
Stokes, G. A. (1970). A comparison of problem solving in clinical nursing situations by professional and non-professional psychiatric nursing personnel. New York University.
Stokes, G. A., & Fitzpatrick, P. E. (1977). Teaching Students Psychotherapy. The American Journal of Nursing, 77(2), 249–253. https://doi.org/10.2307/3424112