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California Hospital Medical Center 
California Hospital, now known as California Hospital Medical Center, has a long history of nursing excellence from the School of Nursing which operated there from 1898 - 1984, with a period of closure during the Depression. While the School of Nursing is no longer in operation, the nurses who trained there meet annually to report on their lives and to continue the tradition of friendship and professionalism learned at their esteemed alma mater.

California Hospital School of Nursing A Brief History

California Hospital School of Nursing was born as The California Training School on June 11, 1898 at Dr. Walter Lindley’s private hospital on 6th Street in downtown Los Angeles. The school served the nursing profession for 86 years (with a brief intermission in the 1930s).

Dr. Lindley’s hospital on 6th street accommodated only 6 to 8 patients. Still, the first class of four nursing students graduated from the school on June 10, 1899.

At the turn of the century, the School of Nursing moved to the new 50-bed California Hospital building on South Hope Street, which was then considered one of the largest private hospitals in the country.

In 1921, the management of the California Hospital was transferred to the Lutheran Hospital Society of Southern California and then 1924, Mr. Adolph Larson, a building contractor and President of the California Hospital Board of Directors, built a new nurses home at 320 West 15th street. It housed 160 students, and became known as the “Larson Hall.” It provided not only living quarters for the nursing students, but also classroom and laboratory space. Nurses trained at the California Hospital School of Nursing have fond memories of all the romping that went on at Larson Hall! But it was highly disciplined romping, of course!

May 12, 1926 saw the opening of the new, grand California Hospital building with capacity for 300 patients, plus bassinettes for infants. This practical facility served Southern California for nearly 75 years, and also provided the Nursing School with ample opportunities for practical experiences in major healthcare fields.

During the early 1940s, the United States became increasingly involved in World War II, resulting in a greater demand for nurses. To meet the need, the Federal Government enacted the United States Cadet Nurse Corp. Most of the class of 1946, which entered the California Hospital School of Nursing in 1943, volunteered to become part of this Cadet Nurse Corp in October of that year.

In the 1950s, the Nursing School applied for accreditation, which launched a somewhat frustrating course of changes to the school’s program. Because the accrediting body and made several recommendations for the improvement of the curriculum, the newly expanded faculty completely revised the course of study for the class of 1961, which entered the School in August of 1958. These changes provided for better sequencing of nursing courses and many other significant improvements. Since 1964, the school has undergone both on-site and written surveys with the result of continual, uninterrupted accreditation through the final graduation class of 1984.

After serving the nursing profession for 86 years, the Board of Directors of California Hospital School of Nursing reached a decision to close the school. The Class of 1984 was to be the last to complete the school’s diploma nursing education. The purpose and work of the California Hospital School of Nursing program is finished, but its TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE will continue in the memories of its graduates.


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