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History of nursing in

the Philippines
Early beliefs and practices
Diseases and their causes and treatment were shrouded
with mysticism and superstitions.
1. Beliefs about causation of disease:
a. Another person (an enemy or a witch)
b. Evil spirits
2. People believe that evil spirits could be driven
away by persons with powers to expel
3. People believed in special gods of healing, with
the priest physician (called “word doctors”) as
intermediary. If they used leaves or roots, they
were called herb doctors (“Herbolarios”).
Early care of the sick
The early Filipinos subscribed to superstitious beliefs
and practices in relation to health and sickness.
Herbmen were called “Herbicheros”, meaning one who
practice witch craft. Persons suffering from diseases
without any identified cause were believed to be
bewitched by the “mangkukulam” or “mangagaway”.
Difficult childbirth and some diseases (called “pamao”)
were attributed to “nonos”. Midwife assisted in child birth.
During labor, the “mabuting hilot” (good midwife) was
called in. If the became difficult, witches were supposed
to be the cause. To disperse their influence, gunpowder
was exploded from a bamboo cane close to the head of
the sufferer.
The Earliest Hospitals Established:

Hospital Real de Manila (1577). - was established mainly to care

for the Spanish King’s soldiers, but also admitted Spanish
civilians; founded by Gov. Francisco de Sande.

San Lazaro Hospital (1578).- Founded by Brother Juan Clemente

and was administered for many
years by the Hospitalliers of San Juan de Dios; built
exclusively for patients with leprosy.

Hospital de Indio (1586).- Established by the Franciscan Order

service was in general supported
by alms and contributions from charitable persons.
• Hospital de Aguas Santas (1590).-
Established in Laguna; near a medicinal spring,
founded by Brother J. Bautista of the
Franciscan Order .
San Juan de Dios Hospital (1596).- Founded by
The Brotherhood of Misericordia and
by the Hospitalliers of San Juan de Dios; support
was derived from alms and rents; rendered
health service to the public.
Nursing During the Philippine Revolution

The prominent persons involved in nursing works:

1. Josephine Bracken, wife of Jose Rizal. Installed a field hospital in an estate
house in Tejeros:provided nursing care to the wounded night and day;

2. Rosa Sevilla de Alvero. Converted their house into quarters for the Filipino
soldier, during the Philippine-American War that broke our 1899.
3. Dona Hilaria de Aguinaldo. Wife of Emilio Aguinaldo; organized Filipino
Cross under the inspiration of Apolinario Mabini.
4. Dona Maria Agoncillo de Aguinaldo. Second – wife of Emilio Aguinaldo
nursing care to Filipino soldiers during the revolution. President of the
Red Cross branch in Batangas.
5. Melchora Aquino (Tandang Sora). Nursed the wounded Filipino soldiers
gave them shelter and food.
Capitan Salome.
 A revolutionary leader in Nueva Ecija; provided
nursing care to the wounded when not in combat.

Agueda Kahabagan.
 Revolutionary leader in Laguna, also provided nursing
services to his troops.

Trinidad Tecson “Ina ng Biac na Bato”,

 stayed in the hospital at Biac na Bato to care for the
wounded soldiers.
Filipino Red Cross
Malolos Bulacan- location of the national head quarters.
Established branches in the provinces
Functions of Filipino Red Cross
Collection of war funds and materials through concerts,
charity bazaars, and voluntary contributions.
Provision of nursing care to wounded Filipino soldiers.
Requirements for Membership:
at least 14 years old, age requirement for officer was 25
years old.
Of sound reputation.
Hospitals and Schools of Nursing
1. Iloilo Mission Hospital School of Nursing (Iloilo City, 1906)
It was ran by the Baptist Foreign Mission society in America.

Miss Rose Nicolet

 Graduate in New England Hospital for Women and Children in
Boston Massachusetts
 was the first superintendent for nurses
moved to its present location in Jaro Road, Iloilo city in 1929.

Miss Flora Ernst

 an American nurse took charge of the school in 1942
March 1944, 22 nurses graduated
April 1944, graduated nurse took the first Nurses board
examination at the Iloilo Mission Hospital.
2. St Paul’s Hospital School of Nursing
(Manila, 1907
 The hospital was established the Arcbishop of
Manila, The most Reverend Jeremiah Harty
 Under the supervision of the sisters of St. Paul
de Chartres
 It was located in intramuros and provided
general hospital services.
 It had a free dispensary and dental clinic.
 It opened its training school for nurses in 1908
with Rev. Mother Melanie as superintendent
3. Philippine General Hospital School of

 Began in 1901 as a small dispensary

mainly for “Civil Officers and Employees”
in the City of Manila.

 It later grew into Civil Hospital.

Mrs. Mary Coleman Masters (1906)
 an educator advocated for idea of training
Filipino girls for the profession of nursing.
 She first opened a dormitory for girls enrolled
at the Philippine Normal Hall and the
University of the Philippines with the
approval of Government Officials.
 she opened classes in nursing under the
auspices of the Bureau of Education.
Julia Nichols and Charlotte Clayton

 taught the students nursing subjects.

 American physicians also served as
 In 1910, Act No. 1976, the Civil Hospital was
abolished; the Philippine General Hospital
was established.
 The school became known as the Philippine
General Hospital school of Nursing.
Elsie McCloskey-Gaches
 Introduced several improvements in the school .
 course was made attractive and more practical.

Anastacia Giron-Tupas
First Filipino
nurse to occupy the position of chief nurse and
superintendent in the Philippines,
4.St. Luke’s Hospital of Nursing (Quezon City

 Is an Episcopalian Institution
 It began as a small dispensary in 1903
 In 1907 ,school opened w/ three Filipino girls
admitted ,
 These girls had their first year in combined
classes w/ the Philippine General Hospital
School of Nursing and St. Paul’s Hospital
School of Nursing.
Miss Helen Hicks
was the first principal of St. Luke’s Hospital
of Nursing
Vitaliana Beltran
was the first Filipino superintendent of
Jose Fores
was the first Filipino medical director of the
Following Requirements:
Educational preparation, at least
completion of seventh grade
Sound physical and mental health
Good moral character.
Good family and social standing
Recommendations from three different
persons well known in the community.
5.Mary Johnston Hospital and School
Nursing (Manila,1907)
It started as a small dispensary on Calle
Cervantes (now Avenida Rizal).
Was called Bethany Dispensary
Was funded by the Methodist Mission for
the relief of suffering among women and
Sr. Rebecca Parrish , Rose Dudley and
Gertrude Dreisback

Organized the Mary Johnston School of Nursing

Mr. D. S. B. Johnston of Minnesota

Donated as a memorial to his wife $12,500.00 for

a hospital building .
In 1911, the Philippine Assembly appropriated a monthly
sum of P500.00 for the hospital
At the outbreak of World War II, it became an emergency
hospital where the wounded were treated.
It was burned down in 1945;
It was reconstructed through contributions of Methodist
Church in America
It reopened in 1947 at the Harris Memorial.

Miss Librada Javalera

was the first Filipino of the school
6. Philippine Christian Mission Institute Schools of Nursing
The United Christian Missionary Society of Indianapolis,
Indiana-a Protestant organization of the Disciples of Christ

Three Schools of Nursing

1.Sallie Long Read Memorial Hospital School of

Nursing (Laoag, Ilocos Norte,1903)

2.Mary Chiles Hospital School of Nursing (Manila


3. Frank Dunn Memorial Hospital (Vigan, Ilocos

Dr. W.N. Lemon

established the Mary Chiles Hospital School of Nursing in a small house

on Azcarraga, Sampaloc, Manila.

Miss Mary Chiles of Independence (Montana)

Donated a large sum of money with w/c the present building at Gastambide was
Tuason Annex
Was donated by Miss Esperanza Tuazon –a Filipino Philantropist.

7.San Juan de Dios Hospital School of Nursing (Manila,1913)

Dr. Benito Valdez

The board of Inspector and the Executive Board of the Hospital passed a
resolution to open a school of nursing.
Sister Taciana Trinanes
Was the first directress of the school.
The school is run by the Daughters of
8.Emmanuel Hospital School of Nursing
 In 1913, the American Baptist Foreign
Mission Society sent Dr. P.H.J. Lerrigo to
Capiz for the purpose of opening a hospital,
 The school oferred a three year training
course for an annual fee of P100.00.
Miss Ciara Pedrosa
was the first Filipino principal.
9.Southern Islands Hospital School of
Nursing (Cebu, 1918)
 The hospital was established in 1911
under the Bureau of Health.
 The school opened in 1918
Anastacia Giron-Tupas, as the organizer.
Miss Visitacion Perez was the first
Other Schools of nursing established were as follows:

 Zamboanga General Hospital School of Nursing (1921)

 Chinese General Hospital School of Nursing (1921)
 Baguio General Hospital School of Nursing (1923)
 Manila Sanitarium and Hospital School of Nursing(1930)
 St. Paul’s School of Nursing in Iloilo City (1946)
 North General Hospital and School of Nursing (1946)
 Siliman University School of Nursing (1947)