Maine General (not to be confused with the former Mid-Maine Medical Center, now known as MaineGeneral, in Augusta and Waterville) was the original building in this complex. It opened in 1874 and contains administrative offices and laboratories. A Ladies’ Visiting and Advisory Board urged the hospital directors to open a school of nursing in 1885. Lectures supplemented practical bedside training five years later, and in 1902, the course was lengthened to three years. The hospital opened maternity services in 1924-25. The first women medical interns were accepted in 1927.
Student nurses were capped after passing a five-and-a-half-month pre-clinical course (held in the Bowdoin building at 135 Chadwick Street). From then on, they were rotated through the medical and surgical wards at Maine General in addition to their class work. In the early years of nursing, student nurses provided much of the nursing care in the hospital and were paid a small monthly stipend. For that reason, graduate nurses often needed to find private duty employment. Monthly stipends for student nurses were dropped by 1947, and students could attend a five-year program and earn the registered nurse (R.N.) designation from the School of Nursing and a B.S. degree in nursing from the University of Maine.