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Students collaborate with Center for Nursing History to preserve profession's rich regional history
Posted 02/22/2016 11:22AM

Misericordia University students enrolled in the course, "American Women's History,'' are collaborating with the Center for Nursing History of Northeastern Pennsylvania at Misericordia University to preserve the rich history of nursing in the region through a service-learning project that will gather oral histories and process archival collections for the center, which is housed in the Mary Kintz Bevevino Library.

Under the guidance of Jennifer M. Black, Ph.D., assistant professor of history and government, Misericordia University students Lauren Hayden, Elizabethtown; Shane Kreller, Sweet Valley; Sierra-Lynn Krohnemann, Roslyn; Elizabeth Long, Plains; Anthony Mancini, Avoca; Lauren Nafus, Dallas; Rebecca Schnable, Dallas, and Christine Zopf, Northampton, assisted in processing, rehousing and interpreting materials for the archival collections and collecting oral histories about the nursing schools of the Wyoming Valley.

Misericordia University students also worked in teams of two to research and conduct oral histories with members of the local community who can comment on the history of nursing in the region. During the first interviews, students interviewed nurses who worked at Pittston Hospital during the tragic Knox Mine Disaster in 1959, which killed 12 miners and destroyed the mining industry in the region, and Wilkes-Barre Mercy Hospital in 1972, during the historic Agnes Flood that ravaged much of the Wyoming Valley.

"Participating in this kind of service project accomplishes two important goals that I have for my students,'' said Dr. Black. "It gives them concrete professional experiences in a classroom environment and encourages them to become more invested in their local community, its history and its people.

"Public history offers educators a great way to accomplish such goals through service-oriented projects like this one. I've found that students who can connect intimately to the local community and its history become more engaged citizens in the future, and that is ultimately a benefit for everyone,'' added Dr. Black, who also collaborated with Dr. Donna Snelson, director of the Center for Nursing History and Jessica Garner, university archivist.

For more information about the Center for Nursing History at Misericordia University, please visit this link. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County's first four-year college and offers 32 academic programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full- and part-time formats. Misericordia University ranks in the top tier of the Best Regional Universities – North category of U.S. News and World Report's 2016 edition of Best Colleges, and was designated a 2016 Best Northeastern College by the Princeton Review.


Misericordia University students are collaborating with the Center for Nursing History of Northeastern Pennsylvania at Misericordia University to preserve the rich history of nursing in the region. Posing with some antique nursing uniforms and a wheelchair, from left, are Elizabeth Long, Plains, Pa.; Christine Zopf, Northampton, Pa.; Shane Kreller, Sweet Valley, Pa.; Rebecca Schnable, Dallas, Pa., and Sierra Krohnemann, Roslyn, Pa.