Dozens of nurses who graduated from the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth St. Joseph Infirmary School of Nursing attended a reunion this weekend. The reunion took place at the University of Louisville Alumni Club. The room was packed as these nursing professionals came together to reconnect and reminisce. SCNS were also in attendance, Sister Barbara Peterson was asked to give the opening prayer.
The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth operated the St. Joseph’s Infirmary in downtown Louisville beginning in the 1830s. The SCNs also offered a formal program to educate nurses. The nursing program was recognized as outstanding and rigorous. Many nurses in the area were trained by the Sisters.
Students of this program became close during their training and laid the groundwork for staying in touch with one another beyond graduation. This tradition continues today – dozens of St. Joseph Infirmary nurses get together each year. This weekend, many nurses celebrated their Golden and Silver jubilees.
The infirmary has a rich history. In the 1920s, the infirmary was relocated from downtown to Flat Lick Road-now Preston Highway. A modem 324-bed hospital was recognized at the time as the largest health care facility in the region. An additional nursing wing, a nursing student dormitory and an all-purpose gymnasium/auditorium were added in later years. In 1927, a grove of trees with a grotto for prayer and meditation was dedicated. While the infirmary closed in the 1970s a historic plaque now marks the location of this institution.