St. Paul School of Nursing: Celebrating Our Modern History

NursingApril 30, 2022

St. Paul’s School of Nursing is a vibrant New York healthcare institution, and its roots go deep. Founded 130 years ago as St. Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing, the school played an important role in treating soldiers during two World Wars and caring for patients during the 1918 influenza pandemic. 

The past 50 years have continued to shape the facility as it has turned into the modern institution it is today.

From 1967 to 1991, the school was under the leadership of Sr. Mary Robert Nagle. During this time, fundraising and grants for student support and program enrichment were expanded. 

As a result of the fundraising efforts, in 1977, the school moved to a building on Christopher Street where it became an integral part of the community. The new location had larger classrooms, a new science laboratory, and a comprehensive library. It also included a television studio and media production center, demonstrating its focus on progress. 

Like New York itself, the school faced challenges as the 1970s waned. During the recession of the 1980s, St. Vincent’s suffered cutbacks in funding, layoffs, as fewer high school candidates looked to go into nursing. New York’s demographics were also changing, and additionally a volatile social and economic climate, the AIDS crisis, and nursing shortages affected the school.

Yet, the school met those obstacles head on. To meet the needs of a diverse student population, the standard three-year curriculum evolved to a “Multiple Track Program,” and then to a two-year curriculum. The school also introduced a formalized program for students from other cultures who often spoke different languages, supporting diversity and inclusion. This program was eventually emulated by schools in other parts of the country.

Sr. Mary Roberts resigned as director in 1991, and Sr. Miriam Kevin Phillips stepped in until 1999, when the original St Vincent's School of Nursing located in Manhattan closed. 

In August 2000, Catholic Medical Centers of Brooklyn & Queens merged with Sisters of Charity Medical Center and Saint Vincent Hospital and Medical Center, forming Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers of New York. And in 2001, the School of Nursing of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers of New York was approved to award an associate in science degree. 

In 2007, Education Affiliates became the new sponsor for the school of nursing. And in April 2009, official ownership was transferred, changing the name to St. Paul’s School of Nursing. That year there were two graduating classes: the last class of St Vincent Catholic Medical Centers School of Nursing with 47 students and the first class of St Paul's School of Nursing with 24 students. In September 2012, St Paul's School of Nursing moved to its current location on Queens Boulevard in Rego Park. To provide nursing education opportunities to more New York residents, St. Paul’s now has a second location in Staten Island. In 2021, the analytics firm Stacker compiled a list of the community colleges with the best return on investment. St Paul’s School of Nursing was number-one on the list.

St. Vincent's Hospital and School of Nursing played an essential role in our country’s history. Today, St. Paul's School of Nursing honors that history and is focused on making sure the school’s future remains bright. If you’re considering getting into the medical field, click here for more information or call us today at (855) 822-3018 and speak to one of our admissions representatives.