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Nurses House History & Photos

In 1922, Nurses House began when Emily Bourne left $300,000 in her will, stipulating that it be used to provide a place where nurses, ill or exhausted, could come to rest between cases. Although she wasn't a nurse, Mrs. Bourne thought highly of nurses. With the money, a stately, beach-front mansion was purchased. The house could hold up to 60 residents at any given time.

Nurses House was often filled to capacity during the busy summer months, as accommodations were peaceful, restful and provided privacy. Nurses who came to rest were referred to as “guests,” and this term is still used today. Meals were said to be outstanding, enjoyed by all the guests during group dining.

Nearly four decades later, as a result of changing socio-economic times, the governing body of Nurses House realized that nurses really needed short-term financial assistance to get back on their feet in their own communities. In 1959, the Bourne home was sold to create a fund, the only national charitable foundation dedicated to helping nurses in need.

Though Nurses House is no longer a physical place of respite, it continues to meet Bourne’s mission of helping nurses when they need it most. “Those of us who are nurses really believe in the profession,” says Susan Fraley, executive director of Nurses House. “We always talk about the ripple effect—every little bit that helps a nurse helps that person’s situation, which helps the profession and eventually helps the patients receiving care from that nurse."

Click here to read stories about some of the nurses who have been helped by Nurses House. Click here to read about some recent fund-raising ideas or ways to support the work of Nurses House.

Summer view of Nurses House
Expansive grounds provided many opportunities for activities and relaxation
  A bedroom in Nurses House
Guest relaxing in a Nurses House bedroom

The garden of Nurses House
Guests enjoying themselves in the large garden

Nurses House grounds in winter
Nurses House grounds in the winter


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