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Lydia Hall

Lydia Hall was a nursing theorist who developed the Care, Cure, Core model of nursing. She was an advocate for chronically ill patients and worked to involve the community in public health issues. She also was very supportive of nurses in all phases of their careers.

Early Life and Education

Hall was born on September 21, 1906, in New York City as Lydia Eloise Williams. She was the first born of Louis V. and Anna Ketterman Williams and was named after her maternal grandmother. Her brother, Henry, was several years younger. When she was very young, her family moved to York, Pennsylvania, where her father was a physician in general practice.

After graduating from York Hospital School of Nursing in 1927 with a diploma in nursing, Hall felt as if she needed more education. She entered Teacher's College at Columbia University in New York and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in public health nursing in 1932. After a number of years in clinical practice, she resumed her education and received a master's degree in the teaching of natural life sciences from Columbia University in 1942. Later, she pursued a doctorate and completed all of the requirements except for the dissertation.

In 1945, she married Reginald A. Hall who was a native of England.


Hall's nursing experience was practical as well as theoretical. Her early years as a registered nurse were spent working for the Life Extension Institute of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in Pennsylvania and New York where the main focus was on preventative health. From 1935 to 1940, she worked for the New York Heart Association. In 1941, she became a staff nurse with the Visiting Nurses Association of New York and stayed there until 1947. While there, she was an advocate of community involvement in public health issues. In 1950, she accepted a position as a professor at Teacher's College at Columbia. She taught nursing students to function as medical consultants and was also a research analyst in the field of cardiovascular disease.

Hall was always interested in rehabilitative nursing and the role that the professional nurse played in the patient's recovery and welfare. Her Care, Cure, Core Theory was developed through her interest and research in the field of rehabilitation of chronically ill patients. As a result of her expertise in rehabilitation, Hall became involved in the creation of the Loeb Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation at the Montefiore Medical Center (MMC) in the Bronx, New York. The Solomon and Betty Loeb Memorial Home for Convalescents had provided community services at Montefiore Hospital since 1905. In 1957, the Board of Trustees decided to expand the services and entered into a partnership with the hospital to construct a new facility. Dr. Martin Cherkasky, director of the hospital, contacted Hall to spearhead the undertaking, and she worked from 1957 to 1962 on all aspects of the project including construction and administration. As the founder and the first director, she was adamant that nurses were in charge of everyday operations. Others in the health team were secondary members.

The Loeb Center accepted its first patients on January 10, 1963. The center had strict criteria for patient admission, and only patients who were past the critical phases of their illnesses and could take part in their rehabilitation efforts were accepted. Hall's belief that nursing created the therapeutic environment that led to a patient's full recovery was the philosophy of the center. The nursing-centered care reduced rehabilitation time and length of stay by up to one-half to one-third. The center became a prime example of nursing-led care, and many centers in the United States and Canada followed its principles. During her time there, Hall published over 20 articles about the Loeb Center.

Sadly, Lydia Hall died on February 27, 1969, at Queens Hospital in New York. Genrose Alfano continued her work at the Loeb Center until the focus of the center was changed to that of custodial care in 1985.


In 1967, Hall received the Teacher's College Nursing Education Alumni Association (TCNEAA) Achievement in Nursing Practice Award and also was their Nursing Hall of Fame inductee. In 1984, she was inducted into the American Nurses Association (ANA) Hall of Fame.

Care, Cure, Core Theory

Hall's nursing theory is sometimes called the Three Cs of Lydia Hall. The three components are represented by three separate but interconnected circles. The size of each circle constantly varies and depends on the state of the patient. The core is the patient, the cure refers to the medical and nursing interventions and the care is the nurturing provided by nurses. She considered care exclusive to nursing, and the other two components were shared with other health professionals. The theory emphasizes the total patient rather than looking at just one part and depends on all three components of the theory working together.

Publications related to Lydia Hall

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