Nurses have always been a fundamental part of the care provided at Children's Mercy. In 1901 a School of Nursing was established at the hospital. Katharine Richardson acknowledged that nurses carried the brunt of patient care and is even noted as stating nurses should be considered equal partners with doctors on the patient care team. The School of Nursing at Children's Mercy was open until 1938. Thereafter, Children's Mercy has been affiliated with several nursing schools around Kansas City.
In 1927 a Nurses Hall was built next door to the hospital to provide a place for nurses to get away from the hustle and bustle of the hospital. The land and monetary resources set aside for this project were originally going to be used to build a research lab next to the hospital. In 1925 the contract for the land was amended to focus on building a home for the nursing staff of Children's Mercy instead. The Nurses Hall continued to be a home for nurses working at Children's Mercy until 1970 when the hospital moved to Hospital Hill.
In 1936, Elizabeth Martin became the hospital administrator. She was a nurse who worked at Children's Mercy. She would lead the hospital for almost 20 years.
During World War II, nurses became even more valuable and often had extra duties to keep the hospital running, such as fill in for a pharmacist or the switchboard operator.
The 1960s saw a lot of changes for nurses and the nursing profession. Children's Mercy was the first hospital in Kansas City to create new positions for nurses, such as the clinical nurse specialist role. Just as doctors were moved more towards specialized practices, so were nurses. During this time there was an increase in the interest for specialized nurses, especially in cardiac, emergency, and neonatal care.
In 2003 Children's Mercy was the first hospital in Kansas and Missouri to received Magnet Recognition for nursing. This highly prestigious recognition is given to only 8% of the hospitals in the US. Children's Mercy has been continuously recognized for excellence since first awarded.