Quote from Speculating
Everyone seems to forget men were nurses long before women. We just were'nt called nurses. Female nurses were not even allowed near the battle fields until The Crimean War around 1854.
It was St. Bernard and some other monks who built the first hospices that later turned into hospitals - no women there. If we would not have handed off we might have some nursing unions now that would make the Teamsters look like girl scouts. Women refined nursing, but men were the first. Let the whipping begin
Hospitals existed long before St. Bernard. That Saint's contribution was to make it safer for the faithful to do pilgrimage to Rome etc. Islamic hospitals had female attendants and I would presume the Arabs to have had a sophisication significantly ahead of their Christian colleagues.
There were Christian hospitals when Julian the Apostate came to the purple in 361 AD. He was not favorably disposed to that faith and he sought to build and finance alternatives. The Christians would care for pagans and that presented political problems for an Emperor trying to turn the clock back and to reduce the influence of christianity.
One early hospital founded by St. Basil on the military road between Antioch and Constantinople was quite large and laid out as a town. That institution was founded about 370 AD.