An intimate look at the life of a student nurse during the Great Depression and World War II and the mid-century era. Can you imagine a time when nursing students lived at the hospital, were forbidden to marry as long as they were enrolled, and had to shell peas during “breaks” in the day? Exhibit highlights include vintage nursing uniforms, photographs, year books, personal effects, and a special exposé on a Presidential Tri-State nursing student.

Gehlen Hall


Gehlen Hall was the private home converted into a dormitory for the student nurses attending Tri-State Hospital’s School of Nursing.  Located next to the hospital, it seemed as a home away from home for the students of the hospital’s three-year program. 

Under the rules of the nursing school, nurses could not be married, but that didn’t stop the young women from enjoying their off-duty hours.   The “White Cap”, the yearbook for the class of 1947, shows photos of them not only working, but swimming in Cross Lake, having theme parties, and trips to local sights. 

According to an article when Tri-State Sanitarium was opened, Gehlen Hall was the former home of E. Wayles Brown, a prominent Shreveport lawyer and politician.  Brown would later be elected to the Louisiana State Senate. 

The nurses lived in rooms on the second floor with a kitchen and dining room on the first floor.  The first nursing staff supervisor was Miss Florence Watson.

Location in Museum

Tri-State School of Nursing Exhibit



100 Years