The work of the Sisters of Mercy in this city has not been limited to
academic schools. One of their great achievements is the establishing of a
hospital in Atlanta that has steadily increased in size and that has built a
reputation for excellence in nursing and medical attention that few hospitals
excel. This is St. Joseph's Infirmary, which was founded at its present
location, No. 372 Courtland Street, N. E., fifty-eight years ago. The now great
institute was begun in an humble manner, the Sisters planning and re-designing
an old residence to make it suitable for hospital purposes.
St. Joseph's Infirmary was opened in 1880 by Sisters of Mercy sent here from
the Mother house in Savannah, Georgia. Sister Mary Cecilia Carroll, of Dublin,
Ireland, was appointed Superior, her companions being Sister M. Borgia Thomas
and Sister M. Helena Sheehan. The good works accomplished by these nuns and
their successors would fill volumes.
With the continued growth of this institution it became evident that the
establishment of a School for Nursing under the Sisters' direction was a real
need. A three-year nursing course was established and the first class graduated
March 22, 1903. Since its first class of graduates there have been three
hundred twenty-four young ladies to receive diplomas at its hands (1937). At
present there are about fifty young women in this Nursing School. Some are
college graduates, all are high school graduates. This school is non-sectarian.
The medical staff of St. Joseph's Infirmary is composed of physicians and
surgeons who are outstanding members of their profession. In addition to the
daily class work and nursing practice received by the young ladies in the
School for Nursing, lectures by members of the staff and by other eminent
surgeons and physicians form part of the thorough training received by them.
The influence and personal care given the young women in training by the
Sisters gives the valuable addition of upright character to their knowledge and
nursing abilities. Those interested in the personal welfare of the ambitious
young woman of today, appreciate the benefit to be derived from the atmosphere
of a hospital and school conducted by experienced Religious Teachers and