Nursing History

Nursing History MedStar Franklin Square

In 1898, eight physicians planted the roots of Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. With just 20 beds, it was the first hospital to open in the community of West Baltimore. Two years later, in 1900, Franklin Square opened The School of Nursing, which was the first school in the state to institute a three-year nurse training program. Due to population growth and demand, expansion was needed after just three years. This resulted in the hospital moving to the northwest corner of Calhoun and West Fayette streets in Baltimore City, across from Franklin Square Park. With this new location came a name change to "Franklin Square." In response to population growth, Franklin Square in 1905 added a fourth floor and two additional wings, increasing bed capacity to 80. With physical expansion came increased demands for education and training programs. In 1914, intern and resident physicians began coming to Franklin Square to complete their training. The American College of Surgeons awarded accreditation to the hospital for its training program.

By 1948, it had 180 beds and was nicknamed the "Smilin' Through Hospital" by the Baltimore American Newspaper because of the spirit of care and compassion rendered to patients. Faced with the challenge of modernizing an aging facility, as well as the addition of two hospitals on the west side of town, it was decided in 1961 to move Franklin Square to eastern Baltimore County, where the community was rapidly growing but no hospital was available.

In December 1969, the old hospital across from Franklin Square Park closed its doors and the next chapter for Franklin Square began with the opening of a new four-story hospital near the community of Rosedale. The need for continued expansion was evident, and the Franklin Square Hospital Center Foundation was formed in 1970. The Foundation made it possible for the medical services of Franklin Square to expand without adding to the costs of the hospital.  

In 1978, Franklin Square Hospital Center expanded to accommodate 485 beds through the opening of the Obstetrics with Tender Loving Care (OBTLC) unit, which offered groundbreaking innovations including specialized labor and delivery rooms. This unit promoted a family-centered care philosophy, allowing fathers to room-in. This expansion also included the opening of a new 20-bed inpatient psychiatric unit. A state-of-the-art Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was added in 1991, designed by ICU staff members to provide an environment conducive to the highest level of care for its patients. 

In 1997, Franklin Square built a new Conference Center and Auditorium to further its remarkable reputation as a teaching hospital. The face of the hospital changed again in 1997 with the addition of the Women’s Pavilion, which opened its doors to offer the best birth options, prenatal care and postnatal care. In 1998, Franklin Square became a member of MedStar Health, a community-based healthcare system.

In 2006, Franklin Square received a Certificate of Need (CON) for a 356,000-square foot patient tower and garage. The expansion increased the emergency, medical-surgical and critical care capabilities, and it allowed 96% of patient rooms to be private. Franklin Square was named the busiest Emergency Department in the state, seeing more than 107,000 patients annually and having the second most admissions in the state. With physical growth came new technology and services, including computer assisted joint replacements, the superDimension Bronchus System and the revolutionary technology, CyberKnife, which Franklin Square was only the second hospital in the state to provide to patients.   

Franklin Square received the National Recognition for Nursing Excellence Award from the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program® in 2008, which was followed by receiving the 2009 Delmarva Foundation Excellence Award and the achievement of four recognitions on top 50 lists in the 2009 U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals issue. Franklin Square proudly celebrated recognition as a 2010 Best Hospital for the third year in a row and made the top 50 list in the U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals issue. 

On November 15, 2010, Franklin Square Hospital Center opened the new Patient Care Tower, a modern seven-story facility that offers high-quality care with all private rooms, a more efficient emergency department and much more – all centered on the needs of its patients and their families. The hospital officially changed its name to MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center (MFSMC) on January 23, 2012. Groundbreaking for The Angelos Center for Lung Diseases began in November 2013 following a $2.5 million gift from Peter Angelos, the largest gift in Franklin Square’s history. Its doors opened in late 2014. In addition, a 15-bed inpatient Season’s Hospice and Palliative Care Unit opened at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center on July 15, 2014.

As the need for specialty services continued to grow, MFSMC unveiled a new state-of-the-art Center for Digestive Disease, specializing in the full range of gastrointestinal and digestive diseases in July 2015. This was followed by the opening of a new 23-bed, private room Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in February 2016. The state-of-the-art unit was designed with the input of MFSMC staff to promote a partnership between families and the NICU team, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and other experts with extensive neonatal training who provide the highest quality and safest patient care in a setting that, in itself, is healing. MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center is ever expanding and changing in response to the needs of its community, patients and staff.