Living History Museum
The University of Maryland School of Nursing’s (UMSON) Living History Museum is one of the nation’s only museums dedicated to educating the public about the rich history and heritage of the nursing profession. The Museum features hundreds of historic objects and photographs, as well as audio and video presentations. The Museum traces the evolution of UMSON’s mission in nursing education, research, and practice from its early years as a hospital training school to its emergence as a premier professional nursing school.
From UMSON’s founding in 1889 to the present, the Museum highlights the historical contributions of nurses and explores their contemporary role as health care educators, researchers, and clinicians.
The Museum's mission is to preserve the history and heritage of UMSON, honor the critical role of nurses in health care, and chronicle the ongoing evolution of nursing education, research, and practice.
Louisa Parsons was the first superintendent of UMSON, known first as the University of Maryland Hospital Training School. She remembered UMSON in her will, making a bequest of her numerous military nursing medals. Since that initial gift was made, dedicated alumni have collected, preserved, and exhibited many nursing artifacts over the years. In October 1999, a museum dedicated to UMSON history opened its doors, presenting the new exhibition gallery, “A Vibrant Future, A Living History.” Today, the Museum continues to educate the public on the vital role of nurses in society.
“Nursing Through the Ages,” the permanent exhibit at the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) Living History Museum, covers the history of UMSON, from its founding in 1889 to the present day.
Click one of the links below to take a virtual tour and learn about the history of UMSON and nursing throughout the country, or use the links on the right navigation bar to skip ahead to a specific section.
- History of the School of Nursing
- History of Nursing Research
- History of Nursing Practice
- Military Service & Wartime Nursing
In Their Own Words