Ruth Weise received her bachelor’s in nursing education in 1946 and her M.A. in nursing education in 1954, both from the University of Minnesota. She was a faculty member in the School of Nursing from 1946 until 1963 and then from 1973 until her retirement in 1986.
Ruth Weise starts with describing her background, including her education and why she went into nursing. She discusses her experiences as a student at the University of Minnesota, working as a staff nurse, teaching operating room nursing, why she left the University of Minnesota, and her work at St. Barnabus Hospital. She describes working with iron lungs, surgeons’ treatment of nurses, working in the operating room and with different technologies, and the Area Health Education Centers program. She discusses the relationship between diploma and degree nurses at the University of Minnesota; curriculum changes in the 1940s and 1950s; changes in the School of Nursing between the 1950s and 1970s; the move in nursing to working with communities; the relationship of the University of Minnesota School of Nursing to other nursing programs in the region; the closing of nursing diploma schools, changes in the School of Nursing after the reorganization of the health sciences in 1970; the perceived shortage of health care professionals in the 1950s through 1970s; public health nursing; and the move to have nursing faculty with Ph.D.s and what it was like to not have a Ph.D. in this context. She remembers Katherine Densford, Isabel Harris, Edna Fritz, Irene Ramey, and Ellen Fahey.
Ruth Weise was born in Oak Park, Illinois. She received her diploma from St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing in Evanston, Illinois, in 1944, her Bachelors in Nursing Education from the University of Minnesota in 1946, and her MA in Nursing Education also from the University of Minnesota in 1954. She joined the faculty of the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota in 1946, and, during her time at the University of Minnesota, she helped to establish a course in operating room nursing. She left the University of Minnesota in 1963 to work at St. Barnabus Hospital in Minneapolis. In 1973, she was invited back to the University of Minnesota to establish a partially external master’s degree program. She retired in 1986.