History Bytes: The Newport Hospital School of Nursing

January 12, 2021

A group of female nurses at a graduation ceremony for the Newport Hospital School of Nursing. 2019.017.020, NHS Collection.

During the current pandemic, nurses and medical professionals have gone above and beyond to serve Newport’s community.

The Newport Hospital, which began in 1873 as a 12-bed cottage, expanded significantly in the late 19th century. If you walk the campus of the hospital today, you will see that it includes a very large, brick Georgian mansion, which served as the School of Nursing from 1910-1990. It was designed in 1908 by Boston-based architecture firm Winslow, Bigelow & Wadsworth, and cost $60,000 to construct; adjusted for inflation, that would be almost $1.7m today. Interestingly, construction was funded without any philanthropic assistance and does not bear the name of a donor or hospital founder. It was casually known as the ‘Janet MacLaurin building’, in honor of the revered nursing superintendent of the time.

Though the nursing school is now closed, the building continues to serve the hospital as administrative offices.


Banner: Architectural drawing of the Newport Hospital School of Nursing from their 1909 Annual Report.