Nazareth Association
Nazareth Association
St. Camillus/Borgess School of Nursing - 1895 to 1972

In 1895 Borgess Hospital, under the direction of Monsignor O'Brien, organized St. Camillus School of Nursing, which became accredited in 1898. St. Camillus was chosen by Monsignor O'Brien and the Sisters, because St. Camillus is the patron of Catholic hospitals, of the sick and of religious and lay nurses. The school offered a two-year course of study on an apprenticeship system of training, a current practice at the time in schools of nursing.

From the time that the school of nursing was organized, the superintendent of Borgess Hospital was also the director of nurses. Mother M. Agnes carried this double responsibility until 1917, the year she was transferred to oversee the building of the new Borgess Hospital on Gull Road. Thereafter, the school had its own director who was appointed by the governing board of the hospital. Sister M. Aurelia served as the first director. She was succeeded by Sister M. Raymund who held the position until 1941. Since that time, the following Sisters have directed the school of nursing: Sisters M. Evelyn, Barbara Ann, Rosalind, and Benedicta. Sister Mary Leonard was Educational Director from 1924 to 1949.

In 1925, the school of nursing became affiliated with Nazareth College which granted college credit for the diploma course in nursing and offered a degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing to students who enrolled in the five-year course.

The new school of nursing adjacent to the new Borgess Hospital was completed in 1929, and the one hundred students enrolled were moved from old Borgess Hospital.

Cadet Nurse Corps Program

From 1943 to 1946 St. Camillus School of Nursing participated in the United States Nurse Corps Program which prepared nurses for military and civilian needs. This required an accelerated program with complete revision of the curriculum. The last six months of the three-year course were spent in a Senior Cadet Nurse program in either a military or a civilian hospital.


In 1950, St. Camillus School of Nursing became a unit of Nazareth College Division of Nursing.


Borgess School of Nursing was fully accredited by the National League of Nursing; approved by The Michigan Board of Nursing; an agency member of The Department of Diploma and Associate Degree Programs of The National League of Nursing, The Michigan League of Nursing, and The Conference of Catholic Schools of Nursing.

Borgess Alma Mater

Remember when careers were just beginning
We chose a school to look upon with pride
We met our friends and shared a dream together
Then three years passed but memories abide.
The blue and white we she as we are parting,
The cap is all that’s left of student days.
So wear with pride the symbol of our dreaming
Tho’ memories fade, our common bond will last always.

To the tune to “Danny Boy”

The Very Best Kind

You went to Borgess with one thing in mind,
To be a Nurse, the very best kind.

Three years you did study, and some you did play,
But with God’s help, you came all the way.

Now you may remember with a tear in your eye,
But listen now nurse, please don’t cry,

For today there are patients happy to find
You’re a Borgess Nurse, the very best kind.

Written for the 15th Class Reunion of the Class of 1978 by Douglas Wills, husband of Mary Wingerter Wills

Class Pictures

To download an image click on the year below:
1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
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Keeping the Spirit Alive!

Contact Us Today!

Nazareth Association
3901 Emerald Dr, Ste N
Kalamazoo, MI 49001-7923

Phone: (269) 342-1191