Marjorie becomes a Nurse!

As a child my mother, Marjorie or Marge as she was called, dreamed of becoming a nurse.  She worked through the 1930’s doing various jobs like being a waitress to earn the money to attend the Virginia Mason Nursing School in Seattle, Washington.

In those days the nurses had to live in the dorms provided and go to the nursing school.  I think this is the lodging location.

Virginia Mason Nurses School

Virginia Mason Nurses School

The Seattle City Directories at the Seattle Public Library show Marge as follows.  She first appears in 1930. Aileen, her sister, has been appearing since in 1928. Children do not appear in the city directories until they reach about 18 years old.

1930 – Boardman, Marjorie F. r 7022 46th Av SW (She is living with her parents)

1931 – Boardman, Marjorie F stdt r 7022 46th Av SW (Still living with parents)

1932 – Boardman, Marjorie F r 7022 46th Av SW (Living with parents)

1933 – Boardman, Marjorie F r 302 Crockett (Both Aileen and the parents are not listed)

1934 – Marjorie is not listed, Aileen and her parents are? The address changes for them to 5013 50th Av SW.

1935 – Boardman, Marjorie wtrs (waitress) r 7100 47th Av SW (She is not living with the parents at this time.)

1936 – (page 260) Boardman, Marjorie stdt r 5013 50th Av SW (This means she is living with the parents)

1937 – Boardman, Marjorie nurse VMH r 5013 50th av SW (She is a student nurse at this time graduating in 1939) VMH means Virginia Mason Hospital – All family members are present. She is living with her parents).

1938 – Boardman, Marjorie nurse VMH r 1101 Terry av (Student nurse – (I believe she had to live at the nursing school. All family members are present in the listing. Around this time Aileen gets married.)

1939 – Boardman, Marjorie nurse VMH r 5013 50th Av SW. (Family members are present except Aileen in the Boardman listing.)

1940 – Boardman, Marjorie nurse VMH r 1109 Terry Av. (All family members are present in the listing, except Aileen who is now with Verne.)

In the photos below, Marge, is the one in the middle.  I do not know the name of the person behind her or to the right.  It looks like a nun is also in the photo second from the right hiding behind the other lady.  She was known as Marge, Boardie and later Mac.

Majorie with 4 others

Majorie with 4 others

 In this following photograph Marge is the one on the far right.  The other two women are unknown to me.

Marjorie & Friends

Marjorie & Friends

Based on the city directory research that I had done, I took a trip over to the West Seattle area to identify the houses s that my family lived in.  When I saw this building near one of those houses I remembered these two photos that I present below.  This is the same building:  Perhaps my mother did her nurses training by working at the Kenney Home or maybe she worked there after she graduated?  I do not know how this location factors into her life.

The Kenney Home

The Kenney Home

Marge was interested in surgery.  These following photos are very faded.  Marge is the third one over from the right in a white turban.  Click the photo to make it bigger and then hit your back button to return.

Marjorie in Nursing School

Marjorie in Nursing School – Surgery Class?

In the following photo, Marge is the second from the right with the nurses hat on in the dark hair.


She looks happy in the 2nd picture above.  She devoted 30-40 years of her life to being a Registered Nurse.  She retired many years later.  By the time she retired the training of nurses had been moved to the university or local college.  She briefly considered going back to school but decided against it, something about “It is all changed.”  Hospital corners anyone?

On April 8, 1939 Marjorie Boardman received her license to practice nursing.  That following May of 1939 she was awarded her Diploma from Virginia Mason Hospital which was dated April 1, 1939.

Be it Known that Marjorie Boardman as completed the Training Course of Instruction for Nurses prescribed by Virginia Mason Hospital, Seattle, King County.

Here is the graduation program for the Nurses for May 2nd, 1939 for Virginia Mason Nursing School:

1939 Virginia Mason Nursing School Graduation

1939 Virginia Mason Nursing School Graduation

I am not sure when this was taken probably years later for she returned to Virginia Mason Hospital in the 1950’s to resume her nursing profession after having children, me included.

Marjorie outside Virginia Mason

Marjorie outside Virginia Mason

Virginia Mason Hospital does not have any link to the history of their nursing school.  They do have an archive here in Seattle.   There has been a lot of change in the area around Virginia Mason Medical Center and a lot of growth, so things are very different and a lot of the buildings are gone to make room for the freeway.

She would take the bus from work on Capitol Hill in Seattle and stop at the Woolworths, which is no longer there, and either by a roasted chicken or glazed donuts and bring them home.  Woolworths had a soda fountain.  I remember riding the electric cars with her as a child and hiding behind among the material stacks at J.C. Penny’s in downtown Seattle when she was stocking up. All the major department stores like The Bon Marche and J.C. Penny’s had material in those days.  The face of downtown Seattle has changed so much.  This city has grown up.

My mother graduated from nursing school in 1939.  Her sister-in-law Edna McDonald graduated in 1928 from Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane.  See “The Man Who Lived Airplanes” for Eddie’s adventures in nursing school.


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