According to its charter, the Grady Memorial Hospital School of Nursing was established, “for the purpose of instructing and training persons in the art of nursing and caring for the sick and afflicted.” The program was developed as a three-year diploma program that involved both classroom work and hands-on clinical experience. Starting in 1958, students at the Municipal Training School for Colored Nurses, classes were taught at Spelman College: white students took classes at Georgia State College (now Georgia State University). Once integrated, all students completed their college courses at Georgia State.
Admission requirements for the School included a high school diploma, completion of an admissions exam, and an in-person interview with the school’s admissions office.
During their first year at Grady School of Nursing, students completed routine college courses including basic sciences, social sciences, and an Introduction to the Art of Nursing course. Second year students began clinical work in the medical and surgical wards at Grady Memorial Hospital. Through course and clinical work, students gained knowledge of and understanding in the areas of medical and surgical specialties, the operating room, special diet kitchen, maternal and infant nursing, nursing of children, psychiatric nursing, and communicable disease nursing.
Upon completion of the three-year program, students qualified to take the examination for certification by the Nurse Examining Board of the State of Georgia. Many Grady graduates have noted that their experience at Grady and hands-on work in the hospital gave them the best possible preparation for entering the field of nursing.