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June 17, 2011

Namesakes - Isabel Hampton Robb and Robb House

Isabel Adams Hampton Robb (1859-1910), was one of the pioneers of modern nursing education. Among other ideas, she championed the adoption of the three-year training program with reduced duty shifts (eight hours each day instead of twelve) to leave time and energy for more thorough classroom study. Isabel Hampton was a graduate of the Bellevue Hospital Training School for Nurses. She headed the Illinois Training School for Nurses and the Johns Hopkins Hospital Nursing School. She wrote three books, Nursing: Its Principles and Practice, Nursing Ethics, and Educational Standards for Nurses. She was involved in founding the organizations that would later become the National League for Nursing and the American Nurses’ Association. She was also one of the founders of the American Journal of Nursing.

She came to Cleveland after her marriage to Dr. Hunter Robb in 1894. In 1895 Mrs. Robb gave the first course of lectures to nurses at Lakeside Hospital. She served on the Lakeside Training School Committee which supervised the curriculum of the hospital-based nurse training program.

In her remarks at the 1898 dedication of Lakeside Hospital, Mrs. Robb spoke of the new Training School, “...the women who enter as pupils will be those who come seeking knowledge and who have high ideals... To the building up of a fabric of personal education and personal character, to the preparation for boundless opportunities for good work in the world, to happy, useful lives, and to the welfare of future generations are the women dedicated who become part of this new Hospital and Training School...” [quoted in Margene O. Faddis. A School of Nursing Comes of Age, 1973, p.27]

It was entirely fitting, then, that one of the four new nursing dormitories opened in 1930 was named Isabel Hampton Robb House. From Lakeside’s move to University Circle in 1924, the nurses had lived in several houses on or near Adelbert Road. The other new dormitories were Lowman House, Harvey House, and Flora Stone Mather House. With their commons areas, dining rooms, kitchens, and individual bedrooms, the new nursing dorms were a considerable improvement from previous residential life.

Robb House, however, was not long used by the nurses. Shortly after it opened, the building was turned over to the hospital’s male interns.

Isabel Hampton Robb’s papers are held by the J. Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives at The Johns Hopkins University

Posted by jmt3 at June 17, 2011 12:54 PM

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