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UMSON History

Historical Museum Photo

The School of Nursing was founded in 1889 by Louisa Parsons, a graduate of the Nightingale Fund School at St. Thomas' Hospital in London. The School was originally associated with University Hospital, and early students spent a majority of their time working in the wards, in addition to studying in the classroom. The School grew during the early decades of the 20th century, and school officials, faculty members, and alumni constantly sought to improve standards and advocate for the nursing profession to state and federal officials. By the 1940’s and 1950’s the School of Nursing, guided by its first dean, Florence Gipe, began to transition away from a training school associated with a hospital, to an independent academic institution. The curriculum steadily changed during this period to meet the new, higher standards, as well as keep up with the changes in the medical profession. Master’s degrees were first offered in 1955, while the first doctoral programs were launched in 1979. In the 1970’s the School began to emphasize research in addition to its education and practical roles, reflected in the numerous researchers active in the School and the funded research money the School garners each year. In 2002, the School opened a new state of the art building to accommodate its ever expanding number of faculty members, staff, and students. Today, the School is one of the premier nursing schools in the country and seeks to continue making an impact for another 100 years.

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