4. The Nurses Were the Most Advanced in the World
Nurses played a significant role in the Ellis Island Hospital. After all, patients needed a friendly face in the midst of language barriers and illness. The hospital employed about twenty-five nurses, all of whom had to be unmarried. In addition, these nurses were considered to be highly qualified. They had to have two years of college as well as three to five years of nursing school. According to the tour guide, nurses only made about $600 per year despite the hardships they faced in dealing with contagious diseases.
Though the pay wasn’t anything to write home about, the nurses were known to form unique bonds with their patients. Mothers would name their newborn children after them. Memos were circulated that warned doctors and nurses to stop with all the hugging. In fact, the loving care was so effective at this hospital that New Yorkers themselves tried to get in.