History

In 1924, the West Texas Baptist Sanitarium was opened with the combined efforts of Dr. Millard Jenkins, pastor of First Baptist Church, and Dr. Jefferson D. Sandefer, president of Simmons College (Hardin-Simmons University). Along with the hospital, the West Texas Baptist Sanitarium School of Nursing opened its doors for the first time and produced its first class of only 3 graduates. During the Great Depression, T. G. Hendrick saved the hospital from financial trouble by donating the money to build a new wing and pay off the hospital’s debt. The hospital then became known as Hendrick Memorial Hospital, and the school was then named Hedrick Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. Malcolm and Mary Meeks donated money in 1966 for a new children’s wing, school of nursing and blood bank. In 1970, there were two major changes that happened for the school. The school’s name was changed to Mary Meeks School of Nursing, and it became accredited by the National League for Nursing. The name was changed again in 1981 to Abilene Intercollegiate School of Nursing, when 3 faith-based universities in Abilene and Hendrick Medical Center came together to create a consortium. In 2005, Patty Hanks Shelton donated the money for the current building to be built; the name was then changed again to Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing.