Interview with Catherine Shean, July 18, 1988

Project: American College of Nurse Midwives Oral History Project

Interview Summary

The interview covers 1942 to ca. 1983. Sister Shean graduated as CNM-Certified Nurse Midwife from CMI-Catholic Maternity Institute in 1948. She was instrumental in establishing CMI and fighting for its survival and became its director in 1963. She details the reasons for its closure in 1970, when she moved to Ghana and was on the faculty of the School of Midwifery for which she later was the director. She left Ghana around 1982 or 1983 when the enrolled nursing programs were closed and substituted for community nursing programs releasing community nurses into the rural areas while SRNs-state registered nurses worked in the governmental hospitals in the cities. A similar idea had been developed in the exchange between the two midwifery training centers in the U.S., at CMI in Santa Fe and at St. Vincent's Hospital in Philadelphia, training students in a rural setting as well as in a city hospital.
Sister Shean gives an extended outline of the history of CMI. She refers to Sister Rosemary Smyth's M.S. dissertation on "History of CMI and the Development of Midwifery" and remembers a doctoral dissertation by Sister Lucia Van der Erden on different aspects of Spanish-American culture and effects on maternity service in New Mexico which CMI used to build on. She mentions Dr. Anna Dengel, Dr. Rutherford, a consultant for MCH- Maternal and Child Health programs, and Archbishop Gerken (1887-1943). Others are: Dr. Roy DeFerraro, Sister Olivia (Gowan, OSB), Sister Theophane/Agnes Reinders, Sister Helen Herb, Dr. Nancy Campbell, Hattie Hemschemeyer, Pope Pius XII, Trappist monastery in Pecos.
Sister Shean's message: "To your own self be true". Finding joy in nurse midwifery and caring is important. It is important to cooperate with those that are trained to take care of special cases.

Interview Accession

1993oh002_acnm007

Interviewee Name

Catherine Shean

Interviewer Name

Peg Marshall

Interview Date

1988-07-18

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Restriction

No Restrictions

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Add this interview to your cart in order to begin the process of requesting access to a copy of and/or permission to reproduce interview(s). 


Shean, Catherine Interview by Peg Marshall. 18 Jul. 1988. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Shean, C. (1988, July 18). Interview by P. Marshall. American College of Nurse Midwives Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Shean, Catherine, interview by Peg Marshall. July 18, 1988, American College of Nurse Midwives Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7xgx44tv1t