The completion date for the Nurses’ Residence had been promised for March 1953. Strikes, shortage of steel, etc. had held back all building operations in Reading. At the February Board meeting, the contractors asked for, and were given, ninety days extension of time without penalty. Plans for the proposed Wing for the hospital continued. New equipment was purchased, the Auxiliaries being responsible for some of the money to cover costs.
The School of Nursing accepted thirty-two nurses. It was quite obvious that the added Wing to the Nurses’ Residence was greatly needed.
The $974,000 Nurses’ Residence was dedicated on October 10, 1953 by His Excellency, Archbishop John F. O’Hara, C.S.C., D.D., of the Philadelphia Diocese. Archbishop O’Hara lauded the work of the Sisters of St. Francis in Reading over a period of eighty years. His Excellency also spoke of the profession of Nursing which he said, “was one of the noblest professions for women.” He also commended the Board of Trustees and the Medical Staff and above all, the help of the good people of Reading and Berks County in their loyalty to St. Joseph Hospital.
St. Joseph Hospital, earlier in the year, received full accreditation from the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Hospitals. The Hospital was also among the 21 hospitals in Pennsylvania redesignated to receive grants from the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. Initial approval was granted the hospital three years ago.