Our permanent collections are operated by the Hennepin Health Foundation.

The collections are located in the lower level of the HCMC Blue Building – 915 S 8th St, Minneapolis, MN. MAP

Both collections are open:
Tuesdays and Thursdays
10am - 2pm and by appointment

The MMC Collection:
Is located in BL.227.

The HCMC Collection:
Is located in BL.226.

Email | 612.873.6090

150 years of History

Enjoy a historical look of the hospitals from inception through mergers and transitions spaning 140 years. Read More

hennepin county hospital timeline

St. Barnabas School of Nursing — 1894 - 1973

The opening and operation of a nursing school in 19th century Minnesota was heavily influenced by the staffing needs of the particular institution. And so it was the case for the Hospital of St. Barnabas, which grew from the old Cottage Hospital and opened its school of nursing in 1894.


St Barnabas CappingThe early school most likely incorporated some of the "Nightingale principles," after the famed nurse Florence Nightingale who many consider the founder of modern nursing: Compassion, Commitment, Intelligence and Training.

Some early requirements for admission: "Three Letters of recommendation, one a statement as to the prospective student's health by her family doctor, the other two character references, one of which was to be written by a pastor..."

Various Age requirements for acceptance into the St. Barnabas School of Nursing:

  • 1922 Applicants were to be between the ages of 18 and 31
  • 1935 Minimum age raised to 19
  • 1943 Minimum age lowered to 18
  • 1944 Minimum age reduced again to 17 and one half; according to reports, 108 of 109 students were also enrolled in the cadet program, which was in place to augment the armed forces during WWII

1915, excerpt from "Instructions for Probationers":

  • 1 pair ground gripper shoes
  • 1 pair rubbers to fit shoes
  • A watch with a second hand
  • A fountain pen
  • An inexpensive umbrella
  • Four plain dresses

By 1948, academic entrance requirements had to fit with the University of Minnesota standards of admission. At this time Science and Social Science course were taken at the University as part of the first two quarters of study at St. Barnabas. There was a also a pre-entrance nurses aptitude test for prospective students.

In 1937, tuition was $50.

In the 1960's men were admitted into the school of nursing. There was also a work program for second and third year students who could be employed as unlicensed practical nurses during off-duty hours. First year students could be nurses aides.

In 1970, St. Barnabas Hospital became a part of the Metropolitan Medical Center along with The Swedish Hospital and St. Andrews Hospital. This was the end of the nursing school.

St Barnabas School of Nursing Students


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