History of Developmental Services

Most of the Ontario Hospitals in the early 1900s also had their own nurse training schools. The nursing school at the Orillia institution first opened in 1917. In 1919, four nurses graduated. The school closed until 1928 when it re-opened. Between 1928 and 1945 when the school closed permanently, 118 nurses graduated.

Student nurses, or "pupil nurse staff" as they were called, received three years of training, including working on the wards. Records from 1932 tell us what the student nurses studied:

Junior year

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Materia Medica
  • Bacteriology

Intermediate year

  • Medicine
  • Medical Nursing and Toxicology
  • Surgery
  • Surgical Nursing and Massage
  • Psychiatry

Senior year

  • Nursing
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Dietetics

Most nurses lived on the grounds of the institution. A nurses' residence was built at Orillia in 1932.


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