Bessie Baker

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Item Description

  • In 1929, Baker was recruited by Wilburt C. Davison (first dean of the Duke University School of Medicine) to become the first dean of the Duke University School of Nursing. Baker officially joined Duke University in 1930 as professor and dean; the School of Nursing opened under her guidance in 1931. She served from 1929 until 1938. Baker was especially valued by Davison for her input into planning for the areas of nursing staff, operating room, equipment and materials logistics. She convinced Davison to charge tuition and award diplomas, rather than certificates, to School of Nursing graduates. She died in 1942, and on September 29, 1943, nurses and physicians voted to change the name of the Nurses' Home to Baker House in her honor.
Date created
  • per00005
Resource type
Holding entity
Archival collection
  • Photograph & Negative Collection
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