Who is this Hopkins Nurse?

Who is this Hopkins Nurse?

Nancy P. Ellicott, Class of 1903, was the first woman in Baltimore to own and operate a car. She did most of her own repairs to the car as well. But Ellicott did so much more, both as a person and as a nurse!

A member of the illustrious and hard-working Ellicott family of Maryland, she graduated from the Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1903 and was appointed a head nurse at the hospital. In 1905 she served as Superintendent of Nurses at Church Home and Infirmary and two years later became acting Superintendent of that hospital.

The following year she was appointed Superintendent of the newly opened Rockefeller Institute Hospital in New York, a hospital established as a research institution that investigated several diseases at a time, and admitted only patients with one of those selected diseases. Ellicott served in that position until she retired in 1938.

Ellicott was a real innovator in nursing. As a student nurse she created a worksheet to be followed in the care of typhoid patients. After graduation, she created a back rest for patients before the metal hinged bed became a reality. She also put wheels on a laundry cart so that all dirty linen could be collected at once instead of being walked to the laundry room, one batch at a time.

She was always an active member of the Alumnae Association, chairing committees and writing many articles for the Alumnae Magazine. At least one of these emphasized the unique position of nurses for innovation and invention.Even more, she was decorated by the French government for her outstanding contributions to healthcare during World War I.

Nancy Ellicott was the epitome of the good nurse:  a great nurse and a great human being!

For more information, visit www.medicalarchives.jhmi.edu/papers/ellicott.html.

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