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Carolyn Conant Van Blarcom (1875-1961)Carolyn Conant Van Blarcom (1875-1961)

Carolyn Conant Van Blarcom entered the Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1898 as a “pupil nurse”—funny today, considering her pioneering work in preventing childhood blindness through better hygiene and infant and maternal care. A belief in greater nurse and midwife training drove her career, from head nurse in Hopkins’ obstetrics wards to executive secretary of the New York Association for the Prevention of Blindness. (She was the first trained nurse registered as a midwife with New York City’s Department of Public Health.) In 1922, Van Blarcom published the widely used textbook Obstetrical Nursing, later completing the advice books Getting Ready to Be a Mother and Building the Baby.

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Alice FitzgeraldAlice Fitzgerald (1876-1962)

A restless sort with a quick mind and a knack for languages, Alice Fitzgerald (Class of 1906) Fitzgerald decided at age 19 to go to Baltimore for her debut and, to her parents' dismay, attend Johns Hopkins, going on to practice at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Bellevue Hospital in New York City, and in Indianapolis, IN, where she established a school of nursing. Fitzgerald joined the British Expeditionary Force for World War I, switched to the American Red Cross when the U.S. entered the fight, and stayed on as chief nurse of the American Red Cross Commission in Europe. Her career during and after wartime would earn her a Florence Nightingale Medal from the Red Cross as well as decorations from China, England, France, Serbia, Poland, Italy, Russia, and Hungary. Much of her later career was focused on examining the practice of nursing across the world and establishing public health nursing programs wherever she went. Her final position was as housemother to nurses at Shepard Pratt Hospital in Baltimore. She retired in 1948 and died in New York City on Nov. 10, 1962.

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Ron Noecker, ’07Ron Noecker, ’07

Ron Noecker, ’07, is fresh off a mission with students from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing to care for impoverished people in and around his “home” base of San Martin Jilotepeque, Chimaltenango. Or he’s busy planning the next. Noecker, an oncology nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital, leads perhaps a dozen such teams (from various schools, hospitals, and other organizations) to the Central American nation each year. “I was a Catholic priest for 18 years in Nebraska, and enjoyed that work very much,” Noecker explains. “But, you know, life happens. I was searching … I was restless.” Noecker decided on a sabbatical to Guatemala, a land of widespread poverty and inequality but joy nonetheless. “I felt a lot of healing energy and fell in love with the country, really. Happiness is infectious.”


 

Brittany Kelly, Accel. ’14Brittany Kelly, Accel. ’14

Brittany Kelly, Accel. ’14, grew up a few blocks from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, and now lives a few minutes and a world away in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood. But most days you’ll find her in East Baltimore again, on Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Nelson 4 unit working in pulmonary care and infectious diseases. Or she’ll be in the Behavioral Health Leadership Institute van near the city jail that helps ex-inmates stay free—of drugs and incarceration. Both jobs help Kelly satisfy a fascination with infectious diseases, especially HIV, something she saw too much of growing up. “To give back to East Baltimore is very important to me,” Kelly says. “Knowing I can connect with people I grew up with is what I look forward to every day.”

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Johns Hopkins Historical Photos

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Hopkins Nursing 130th


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