Women at the Medical University of South Carolina

Marguerite Andell, R.N.

Marguerite Andell
Marguerite Andell, R.N., in front of Roper Hospital, 1946.
Waring Historical Library, MUSC, Charleston
Marguerite Andell
Marguerite Andell, R.N., circa 1948. Miss Andell was responsible for both nursing education under the Medical College, and nursing service at Roper Hospital.
Waring Historical Library, MUSC, Charleston

Longest serving director of nursing, 1924-1948

Marguerite Andell was born to William and Margarethe Schimmell Andell on November 6, 1885 on John’s Island, South Carolina. Miss Andell graduated from the Roper Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1914, after which she served as a general duty, private duty, and public health nurse.  She spent a year in France with the U.S. Army Nurse Corps as an American Red Cross Nurse during World War I.  Upon her return to Charleston, Miss Andell joined Roper Hospital as surgical supervisor and then operating room surgical supervisor until 1924. 

In 1924 Miss Andell became Superintendent of Nurses and Director of the Roper Hospital Training School.  During her tenure she proposed ideas that were ahead of her time.  She recommended replacing the ten-hour day and twelve hour night duty with the eight-hour day. In addition she supported increasing South Carolina’s high school programs from three to four years, and requiring the four-year experience for nursing school admission. After working for 24 years, Miss Andell retired in 1948 due to eye problems.

Throughout her career, Miss Andell actively served in local and state professional nursing organizations.  She served as president of the South Carolina State Nurses Association—District 1, president of the Roper Hospital Alumnae Association, and in 1935 became the first nurse president of the State Board of Nurse Examiners, a position she held until 1950. Additionally, she was a member of the board of directors of the S.C. State League of Nursing Education. In the Charleston community, Miss Andell was vice president of the City Federation of Women’s Clubs. She received service awards from the Charleston Chapter of the Red Cross, and the Cadet Nurse Corps.

In 1946, the nursing students dedicated their first annual, Tres Anni, to Miss Andell:

“To the person who, through the years has been a true friend to us all. And who like Socrates, has taught us to ‘know thyself’.  In spite of the tremendous responsibilities of her position, she has made each of us realize more fully the true meaning of our profession.” 

Miss Andell died in May 1968 and is buried in the Johns Island Presbyterian Church Cemetery.