At sixteen years old, Lillian Wald was present at the birth of her sister Julia's child. The work of the attending nurse inspired Lillian so much that it convinced her to begin a career in nursing.
In 1889, Lillian Wald enrolled in the nursing program at the New York Hospital Training School. She graduated in 1891 and went on to work as a nurse at the New York Juvenile Asylum. The asylum did not appeal to Lillian as she did not want to be confined to the institution's methods of care.
Source: New York Juvenile Asylum's Annual Report, 1856