1952. A new three storeyed Nurses Home, named after Miss Russell, was opened. The first wooden structure of the Hospital, a Womens’ Medical Ward, was built. There were now 148 beds available for a population in the city of 17,234. A fine beach cottage was built by Hastings businessmen beside the small cottage already erected by Registered Nurses on their property at Te Awanga.
1954. The end of another era was marked by the Hospitals General Wards becoming an A Grade Training School, Nurses now having to spend only six weeks at Napier. Mr. R. Harding most generously donated the fine Recreational Hall, which bears his name.
1955. St. Aubyn Street Annexe was closed. The old Blake Green house was shifted to its present site as part of the Maternity Wards, making a total of 46 Maternity beds. A gradual change over to study days had been taking place for some years, and Nurses no longer had to attend Lectures in off duty time.
1956. Miss Russell retired, after 25 years on the Staff, 22 of these as our Matron. A Nurses Reunion and farewell for Miss Russell were held to honour her years of service to the Hospital. Miss E. M. Hall, who had joined the Staff in 1945 as Ward Sister, Ward 5, become Matron.
1957. This year saw the commencement of the new Hospital building, Block A & AB to relieve the critical overcrowding. The population of Hastings City was 19-20,000. A new Boiler House was built, and Nurses salaries increased to £218. A new curriculum for Student Nurses was introduced, reducing the time of training to three years, and including Maternity (4½ months). Dr. R. Cashmore Senior Surgeon at the Hospital since its beginning and lecturer to countless nurses, died on duty at the Hospital.
1958-59. Extensions were made to the Tutorial Block, Mens’ Medical Ward, and Russell Home. The Hospital lost one of its most faithful workers in Dr. H. Wilson, who gave over 50 years service and support to the Board, and the following year saw the passing of Dr. A. F. Marshall, Honorary Surgeon and lecturer since 1945.
1960. The new Nurses Home was commenced, and a Store Building, and Mortuary. New student Nurse Classes, three year course, now averaged 35-40 a year, and there are 133 in training: 18 months Maternity Nurses are taken twice yearly, and there are 15 in training. Community Student Nurses are taken twice yearly and there are 24 in training, the total number of Hospital beds available being 169.