Harlem Hospital Nursing Yearbook 1959

The Harlem Hospital School of Nursing closed in 1977 and the site is about to become a new public health lab:


A 1959 yearbook of the nursing school is currently for sale:


and is described as:

Yearbook commemorating the graduation year for the Harlem Hospital School of Nursing’s Class of 1959. This copy was owned by graduating nursing student Joan A. Ryan, with her name stamped in gilt on the front cover. The initials in the cover title stand for Harlem Hospital School of Nursing. The annual is profusely illustrated with photographs and photo-collages of the nurses- in-training, including separate group shots of classes, instructors, supervisors, the yearbook committee, the head nurses, the Glee Club, and more. The main section of individual senior class photographs is arranged in alphabetical order. There are also sections commensurate with yearbooks, such as remembrances, sorority photos, the Bible Club, cartoons drawn by the students, prophecies of future success for each student, and more. The last section, about sixteen pages, is devoted to well-wishes from friends and local advertisements, providing information on businesses for the area around Harlem Hospital during this time

Some of the earlier sections of the yearbook are annotated in blue ink by the original owner, Joan Ryan, identifying staff members and fellow students. In the section of graduation photographs, she comments on the marital and parental status of her fellow graduates. For instance, under Ida M. Jackman’s name Ryan writes: “Engaged Married 1 Child.” She evidently kept track of her fellow graduates over the course of time. She does not write anything below her own picture, which has a printed quote from Shakespeare beneath it.

A wonderful memento of the medical education of African-American women in Harlem in the early years of the Civil Rights movement, owned and annotated by one of the graduates.

A New York Times article from the 50’s noted the struggle Black nurses had against racism when studying to become trained nurses:

“When we appeared on the ward, the white nurses walked off,” said Rachel H. Bridge, who was in the first, 20‐member group to enter the school. “It was terrible. We broke into a white set up.”

The integration of Harlem Hospital was bitter. Some of the early graduates remember doctors who vowed they would not work alongside black nurses. “We were forced to eat by ourselves,” Mrs. Bridge said.

See: https://www.nytimes.com/1973/06/08/archives/harlem-nursing-alumnae-recall-early-racial-snubs.html

To read a history of the nursing school, see:

Student Art on East 129th Street

Artwork on plywood, from children of the Storefront Academy.

Toy Drive

I hope all is well! I’m reaching out to share that Cayuga Centers will be hosting our first agency-wide holiday toy drive benefiting the youth in all our foster care programs. 
Supporters can participate by purchasing a gift from our Amazon Wishlists, donating monetary funds, or volunteering at our in-person event on December 11th. We will be accepting gifts until December 8th. Learn more at cayugacenters.org/holiday-toy-drive-2021/

Holiday Toy Drive In-Person Event
When: Dec 11th, 2021
Location: Cayuga Centers Recreational Space (24 Bruckner Blvd, Bronx, NY 10454)

Volunteers will help set up a toy distribution store to create a personal shopper experience for foster parents to “shop” for gifts for the foster youth in their care. Volunteers can sign up here for shifts between 10am-7pm based on their availability. Food will be provided.

Thanks for your continued support!

Jasmine Lawrence I Media & Community Specialist

Cayuga Centers I 1916 Park Avenue NY, NY 10037

Office: 800-421-2031 Ext. 1704 I Cell: 646-740-1899

Thoughts or comments on this post?