Alumni Memorabilia: I want to congratulate all graduates of the Easton Hospital School of Nursing. Each and every one is special in his/her own way. After graduation many alumni continued their education and received their bachelors, masters or other degrees to continue their profession/career.
Many worked in the hospital setting, (staff nurses, and private duty nurses, becoming head nurses, supervisors, directors of nursing in a hospital or nursing home setting, and school nurses. Many became teachers (some in public schools), volunteers, members or founders of various organizations. Some worked in doctor’s offices or with Public Health. Others became wives and mothers. Some even found a new career and never followed their nursing career.
During WWII. (1943-1948) our students were US Student Nurse Cadets, After graduation (1944-1945) some joined the Navy, Army, or served on an Indian Reservation. After the war ended, the students did not have an obligation to serve, but they benefited while in school. (click here; US Nurse Cadet Corps for more information). Several of our other graduates joined the military, of those, some are mentioned below.
Here are a few facts regarding our alumni and the association taken from hospital board minutes (viewed at the Easton Public Library), taken from alumni obituaries or information sent to me from other alumni:
1913: The alumni association was organized. Anna Hahn, class of 1906, was the first president.
1914 graduate: Harriet Masters Apgar was a U.S. Army Nurse Cadet during WWII.
1917 graduate- Mildred Coyle was the first to earn a 4 year nursing degree from the Columbia University. She was a U.S. Army Nurse Cadet during WWII. Also in the 1940s she was appointed by the Pennsylvania governor as the Superintendent of all school nurses.
1917 graduate: Beatrice Hulshizer Shiffer was the key nurse of Northampton County and served a chairman of the Red Cross Student Reserve during WWI. She served a chief medical technologist at Easton Hospital Laboratory for 20 years, and later held similar positions at several other institutions. Bea was an instructor at Easton Hospital before studying medical technology.
1926: the first annual alumni banquet was held. Throughout the years, the banquet was a formal affair with bands, guest speakers, dancing, but due to economics, it became a luncheon. 50 year graduates were honored with gold “plated” pins, although the design changed as they became discontinued and new ones manufactured.
1929 graduate: Cecelia Sar served as a Lt. Colonel in the US Army Nurse Corps as a nurse anesthetist receiving the Bronze Star Medal for heroic and meritorious service in the Philippines.
1932: the alumni gave the hospital a private room #204 in memory of “those of the association who have gone beyond”
1932 graduate: Anna Hoffman Beam established and operated the emergency treatment room at Lehigh Foundry at the start of WWII.
1934 graduate: Helen Morris became the Educational Director of the Easton Hospital School of Nursing in 1944 and in 1947 became the Director of Nurses at Easton Hospital. In 1958 opened the Practical Nursing Program at Broughal in the Bethlehem School District. Later became Director of the Practical and Professional Nursing Program at Northampton Community College.
1934 graduate: Catherine Costenbader Robertson was a U.S. Army Nurse Cadet during WWII at Walter Reed Hospital.
1934 graduate: Helena E. Strouse Yanick served as a lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps during WWII.
1937 graduate: Berneda A. Serfass served in the US Army Nurse Corps in 1943-1963 retiring with the rank of Major. She served with the 34th Evacuation Field Hospital with the Third Army in Europe and Japan. She was a recipient of the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf clusters..
1938 graduate: Felicia Keyer Prime was the first African American to graduate from the EHSN. She was the first president of the Easton Hospital Private Duty Nurses' Association serving three terms. She also was camp nurse at Echo Ridge Camp for 10 years and volunteered for the Red Cross blood drives.
1938 graduate: Virginia Smith Versage served as a Red Cross Nurse during WWII.
1939 graduate: Gail Gamble was a Major in the Army Reserve, and became a professor at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
1940 graduate: Dolores Keith Cohen served with the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps during WWII.
1941 graduate: Helen L. Eisenhauer McCann was named Outstanding Senior Citizen Volunteer by the Warren County Freeholders in 1991 for her involvement in serving older residents in her community.
1941 graduate: Carolyn Stout Jones earned a BS in Public Health from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1964 she earned her elementary education certification from the then Trenton State College. She was a member of many organizations including being corresponding secretary for the high school class of 1938 and the EHSNAA.
1941 graduate: Miriam Miller Sanders served in the US Army Nurse Corps during WWII/
1942 graduate: Regina C Keith Wood served with the US Navy Nursing Corp during WWII.
1943 graduate: Ruth Haskey received the distinguished service award from the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association in 1986 for 20 years of service.
1943 graduate: Kathryn Perruso Sabatino graduated also from New York Polyclinic Hospital and Medical School, East Stroudsburg University, post grad studies at Lahey Clinic, Boston, MA and Penn State University. She started the Volunteer Nursing Program at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School, Roseto, Pa. Among other things she received numerous awards, wrote and published several articles on OR technique.
1943 graduate: Marguerite Molly Menear Snyder served as a US Navy Nurse at the Philadelphia Nava Hospital during WWII.
1951 graduate: Pauline Ackerman Flynn became an instructor at the school of nursing.
1951 graduate: Joanne Nitchkey Sergeant became an instructor at the school of nursing. She earned her master’s in nursing from New York University and was a professor of nursing at Raritan Valley (NJ) Community College.
1959 graduate: Patricia Hartzell graduated from the University Arizona in 1979 as a family practice nurse.
1960 graduate: Shirley Wensel Ragsale with her husband served as missionaries in Zambia, Africa where she operated a clinic at the David Livingstone Teachers College.
1961 graduate: Carol Karabinus Hine became an instructor at the school of nursing.
1961 graduate: Peggy Hopewell Renner was head majorette while in high school (’55-57). She was president of her nursing school class and in 1992, received the “Nurse Excellence Award” at Easton Hospital.
1965: the first year men were admitted to the nursing school.
1968 graduate: Nancy James Beckman attended many colleges and graduated from Southwestern University with a law degree. She was the Assistant Manager of Program Services and Investor Relation at the Honda Financial Services when she retired.
1968 graduate: Sharon Rader Abruzese was named “Nurse of the Year” (unknown year)
1969: George Gemberling, Chief, Anesthesia Department, 9th Strategic Hospital (Strategic Air Command), Beale AFB, CA, (1985-1991), Chief, Nurse Anesthesia, Gridley Hospital, Gridley, CA, (1993-2002), shared a few of his memories. Letters and other experiences.(Click on the underlined).
1971 graduate: Joseph Fritz was an nurse anesthetist and served in the US Navy.
1975: The last class graduated as the nursing school closed its doors. The Northampton County Community College offered an Associate Degree program sending their students to Easton Hospital for “hands” on experience. The EHSN alumni records are stored at NCCC.
1982: the state board examination which consisted of 5 individual portions became one comprehensive exam.
1994: the state board became computerized.
2001: our yearly alumni newsletter as it was then known to contain stories, etc. was discontinued because postage became too expensive. The alumni now send a condensed version of the newsletter: the May luncheon invitation which is sent to all known alumni addresses.
2002: the House of Representatives Neta Lowrey of New York introduced a bill granting veteran status benefits to nurses who served in the combat core during World War II.