The School for Social Nurses of the Patients’ Funds Union in Poznań

After the World War I on the former Prussian annexed territory of Poland, regardless the Polish Red Cross Nursing School in Poznań functioning since 1921, a significant lack of nursing staff was observed, in particular in out-patient health care. 78 sanitary units were established until 1924 in Poznań and Pomorze regions. Their functions included: prevention, education and promotion, introducing child care rulet, home care for the sick, and emergency help. Most of works were realized by the nurses. Doctors were on duty twice a week in local sanitary units. The Regional Union of the Patients’ Funds in Poznań found immediate education of professional nurses necessary. Realization of this task started in 1928, with courses for social hygienists (offered until 1930). The management found them not sufficient, as the graduates seemed not to be prepared efficiently to work. The project of a nursing school emerged. Thanks to the Regional Union management, and after facing numerous difficulties, The School for Nurses of the Patients’ Funds Union in Poznań was opened on April 5th, 1932, at Noskowskiego street.

First 20 students were enrolled the same day. The ceremony of the School consecration took place on November 5th, 1932, and in April 1933 it was accepted by the Health Care System Department of the Ministry of Social Care. The School was prepared for 32 students. It was managed by the School Council, and directed by Jadwiga Szlagowska, known in Poznań of her social activity, organizational abilities, energy and enthusiasm.

The School was equipped according to any modern requirements, hygiene rules, and the students’ convenience. It had a lecture hall, and perfectly organized instruction hall. Practical lessons in chemistry and dietary cooking were realized in the School of Trade and Industry.

Jadwiga Szlagowska, in her speech offered during the consecration ceremony, said: “Hospital and social nursing is integral and shall be treated as such. However, the main goal of the new school and it’s specialization is the students’ preparation to social service within health. This is expressed not only in the school development, but also in educational methods to be realized here”. The curriculum was 26 months long. A system of teaching in blocks was accepted, with separated periods of theory and practice. Theoretical lecturers were realized in 245 days, internship – in 485 days, and 60 holidays. Practical lessons were realized in carefully selected settings: an internal ward of the Patients’ Fund Hospital, a surgical ward of the Military Hospital, a private Maternity and Gynecology Clinic, the University Children Clinic, a university eye and ear ambulatory, an analytical laboratory, and in out-patient setting of the Patients’ Fund, in a municipal unit for caring for the poor, and in municipal clinics of preventive hygiene. Cooperation with outstanding lecturers ensured high quality of teaching. The School worked two years, enrolled two courses only. It was closed on February 15th, 1934, several months before the first course graduation. The students continued education and received diplomas of the Polish Red Cross Nursing School in Poznań. The School closing was caused because of reorganization of the Patients’ Fund, and liquidation of regional units of the patients’ funds.


Elaborated by Krystyna Wolska-Lipiec and Jadwiga Gnich

„Pielęgniarka Polska” 1933, No 7-9