Replacing a lost RN license (1962 - Guanaja, Honduras - Chicago University?)
July 21, 2007 12:50 PM   Subscribe

I need to contact the Chicago nursing school (name unknown) that issued the RN license (via distance learning) to a Honduran woman in about 1962 (!). All she remembers is that the signature on the license was "Louise Peterson".

This RN license was destroyed by hurricane Mitch in 1998. Replacing this license was the only request of this very amazing woman who serves the Sabana Bight community on the island of Guanaja.

Elena Suniga Johnson is not just the nurse who serves the Savannah Bight clinic, she is the 24 hour emergency service, the midwife, the coroner, the personal counselor for all the surrounding communities. Aunt Elena is greatly respected and has touched almost every life on the island for four decades. She works for a meager wage and lives simply. I would very much like to help her with this one request.
posted by Surfurrus to Education (10 answers total)
 
I'm just answering off the cuff, but aren't RN licenses issued by the state?
posted by rhizome at 1:45 PM on July 21, 2007


I'm just answering off the cuff, but aren't RN licenses issued by the state?

rhizome's right, a nursing license would have been issued by the state... But the woman mentioned in the question isn't practicing in the U.S., she just got her schooling here (albeit at a distance)... Is the woman perhaps wanting a copy of her nursing school diploma instead?
posted by amyms at 1:57 PM on July 21, 2007


Ahh ... I wonder if it is her diploma that she wants! I would assume her actual license is issued by the government there. She had the document framed, and it was dear to her. She told of having to go off-island (La Ceiba) for her clinical studies (even into surgery with a doctor) and of having taken her exams alone with a teacher who was flown in specifically to give them to her.
posted by Surfurrus at 2:01 PM on July 21, 2007


Was it a public or parochial nursing school?
posted by amyms at 2:06 PM on July 21, 2007


Amyms, I really don't know. The Guanajans are quite religious, but I don't know if that was the only choice for advanced (at distance) schooling back then.
posted by Surfurrus at 2:10 PM on July 21, 2007


Might it have been the Alexian Brothers Hospital School of Nursing? They do a lot of mission work and medical training worldwide. Their Chicago nursing school closed in 1969, but they have a lot of contact information on their website.
posted by amyms at 2:14 PM on July 21, 2007


(Some) nursing schools operating in Chicago in the early 60s:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Graham Hospital School of Nursing
Another article I found says that in 1950 Chicago had 84 hospitals, close to half of which have since closed. Suppose that 20% of those had nursing education programs, which seems a conservative estimate - that's still a long list. Maybe the best thing to do is to start with the state agency and calling one registrar, to see what kind of traction you can get on the problem (and whether a non-relative can get this info).

You would begin by contacting their Registrar and asking how to proceed. You may not be able to access someone else's educational records at all -- but they may be able to confirm whether she attended there or not. The information may be held by the Archives, rather than the registrar's office; the Registrar's office should be able to tell you.

Another avenue:
Look at this document. It's a photo of a 1931 Illinois nursing certification. It was issued by the "State of Illinois Department of Registration and Certification" and gives the name of the person's nursing school. So you might be able to contact the right state agency and get them to look her up in their records, or ask them how best to proceed. I'm not sure if it would be them, but you could start with a call to the Illinois Department of Public Health,
Phone 217-785-5133.

Another article I found says that in 1950 Chicago had 84 hospitals, close to half of which have since closed. Suppose that 20% of those had nursing education programs, which seems a conservative estimate - that's still a long list. Maybe the best thing to do is to start with the state agency and calling one registrar, to see what kind of traction you can get on the problem (and whether a non-relative can get this info).
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:11 PM on July 21, 2007


(D'oh. Hit copy rather than cut.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:11 PM on July 21, 2007


Northwestern Memorial , which seems to have rolled up a number of other programs.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:19 PM on July 21, 2007


Wow ... mahalo, mahalo! (mucho gracias!) ... I am following up on these links and sending out email.

I will post when I get results.

mefites = the Best!!
posted by Surfurrus at 4:01 PM on July 21, 2007


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