School of Nursing Historical Timeline


Years 1891 – 1915

University of Michigan Training School for Nurses established in response to a growing need for professional nurses. School organized and operated under the auspices of the Medical School.  Six students admitted on December 7 to a two-year program. Program in the charge of a graduate nurse who was attending the Medical School.
U-M Homeopathic Hospital Training School for Nurses established with an enrollment of 16 students, under the auspices of the Homeopathic Hospital.
Regents move to extend program of the University of Michigan Training School to three years. Three-year program maintained until 1952.
University of Michigan Training School for Nurses reorganized; now the responsibility of University Hospital.  At this time enrollment was 100 students
First full-time instructor appointed and enrollment increased to 130 students.  Four-year high school diploma required for admission.

Years 1916 – 1940

1916Enrollment limited to 140 students. Graduating students receive diploma and School pin. Students expected to take State Board Examination for registered nurses. Graduate Executive Courses have been in effect for three years; four nurses have earned diplomas.
1918Enrollment increases to 180 students.
1919First degree program for nursing students established with the inauguration of a five-year combined course in letters and nursing. Students spend at least three years in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), followed by two years in the School of Nursing.
1922Homeopathic Training School merges with the University of Michigan Hospital Training School.
1926Through joint arrangement between the Hospital and the Medical School, instruction in the basic sciences in the Medical School now available to students in nursing. Students required to meet LSA admission requirements. Training School for Nurses becomes a distinct part of the University.
1928Official name of the Nurse Training School becomes “University Hospital School of Nursing of the University of Michigan”. School’s mission is to provide preparation in administration and teaching for nurses in hospitals, schools of nursing, and institutions of various types, as well as actual bedside care of the sick in hospitals and homes.
1934School becomes a member of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Nursing. This changed to an Associate membership in 1936 because the School still had a three-year as well as a five-year program.
1937Aim of the School “to prepare nurses to meet the community’s varying health needs.” Emphasis is on preparation of the nurse health educator.
1940Title of Miss Rhoda Reddig, who holds dual responsibility for nursing education and nursing service, changes from “Director of Nursing Service of University Hospital” to “Director of the School of Nursing and Director of Nursing Service”.


Years 1941 – 1965

1941Board of Regents creates Faculty of the School of Nursing. Faculty include one assistant professor and 12 instructors. Director’s title changes to Professor of Nursing, Director of the School of Nursing, and Director of Nursing Service, University Hospital. School officially called the University of Michigan School of Nursing. Student admission requirements demand that students graduate in the upper third of their high school class.
1944Program in letters and nursing discontinued and new degree program initiated requiring the completion of two years in LSA or in another college, followed by three years in School of Nursing. Program leads to Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
1952More extensive revision of the curriculum instituted. Three-year diploma program and five-year degree program, which had operated concurrently, are both discontinued. Four-year program established – three calendar years and one academic year, leading to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Throughout the program, curriculum combines nursing principles and skills with knowledge in liberal arts.
1955Miss Rhoda Reddig appointed as first Dean of the School of Nursing.
1956Currently, 718 students in the School; 95 students graduate this year with a BSN.
1958On January 2, a new School of Nursing building opens.
1960Total enrollment 655. School of Nursing bestows 159 BSN degrees, the largest number of students ever graduated from a single nursing school. Faculty totals 55.
1961First students admitted to the four-semester Master’s program in Psychiatric Nursing in the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Program funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
1962First students admitted to the four-semester Master’s program in Medical-Surgical Nursing in the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Program funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
1963Four-year basic baccalaureate program receives full accreditation from the National League for Nursing, including a first-time accreditation for first-level positions in public health. Master’s programs in Medical-Surgical and Psychiatric Nursing also fully accredited at this time.
1965Enrollment expanded to a total of 765 students in the baccalaureate program with 26 full-time and three part-time students in the graduate program. Seventy-five faculty members actively involved in curriculum revision.


Years 1966 – 1990

1966Diamond Jubilee of nursing education at the University of Michigan. Since its founding in 1891, 2,622 nurses have received certificates or diplomas and 1,628 have earned BSN degrees. The Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies has granted 27 Master of Science Degrees, 16 with a major in Psychiatric Nursing and 11 with a major in Medical-Surgical Nursing.
1969One Hundredth Anniversary of the University Hospital. “Constructive Alternative” initiated. Two days of classes cancelled so that students and faculty can meet together. Joint faculty-student committees established.
1971Rhoda Reddig Russell retires after more than 30 years at the helm of the School of Nursing. Norma Marshall appointed acting dean. BSN-Completion Program established.
1972School receives its first federal monies. “Capitation Funds” used to build School’s first computer lab.
1973Carolyne Davis assumes the deanship of the School of Nursing. School now has enrollment of 1,100 undergraduates and employs 115 faculty members. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Master’s Program established. Joint program in Nursing Health Services Administration established with the School of Public Health.
1975Maxine Loomis assumes acting deanship as Carolyne Davis moves into the position of Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs at U-M. Doctoral Program in Nursing established. First students enroll in the Master’s Program in Parent-Child Nursing. BSN-Completion Program extended to Kalamazoo and Traverse City.
1976Mary Lohr named Professor and Dean at the School of Nursing.
1977Master’s Program in Community Health Nursing moves from School of Public Health to School of Nursing.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program subsumed under Program in Parent-Child Nursing.
Rhetaugh Dumas named Professor and Dean at the School of Nursing.  Size of entering freshman class reduced to 100.
1982Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs position established to serve as liaison between School of Nursing and University Hospital.
1983Home Health Care Concentration established. Chronically Mentally Ill concentration established with a grant from National Institute of Mental Health.
1984U-M Center for Nursing Research established and nursing research becomes central to the mission of the School of Nursing.
1985Center for the Study of Gerontological Nursing established.
1986Marketing plan created to attract students to nursing in general and the University of Michigan School of Nursing in particular.
1987The PhD Program established four concentrations in high priority areas of nursing research and theory for students to choose from. U-M was the first nursing school to develop such nursing focal areas and make them available to its students.
1988Nursing Simulation Laboratory dedicated. The Lab was built with a grant from the Helene Fuld Health Trust.
1989School of Nursing moves to its own facility in the 400 North Ingalls Building (old St. Joe’s Hospital). For the first time in recent memory, entire School is housed together. Revamped program in Nursing Administration approved. First students matriculate.
1990First ten students enroll in the Certified Nurse-Midwifery Program track, the only nurse midwifery program in the State of Michigan.


Years 1991 – Present

1991School celebrates 100 years of nursing leadership. Dual degree program in Nursing Administration and Business Administration Program initiated. Program established through a grant from the Commonwealth Fund. Cooperative BSN Program agreement with Jackson Community College established.
1992The RN to Master’s program, a master’s program that combines undergraduate and graduate studies, was initiated.
1994Rhetaugh Graves Dumas named Vice Provost for Health Affairs and the Lucille Cole Professor of Nursing at the University of Michigan.
1994Ada Sue Hinshaw named Dean and Professor at the School of Nursing.
1995The Honors Program for high-ability undergraduate students was established. In response to changing health care demands, the Family Nurse Practitioner program was developed. Additionally, Acute Care Practitioner programs for adults and pediatrics also enrolled their first students.
1996Second Career Nursing Program in which persons with bachelor’s degrees in fields other than nursing was created to allow students to complete a BSN degree and prepare for the Registered Nurse NCLEX exam and licensing in 20 months.
1996The Office of International Affairs was established and Shaké Ketefian was named director. The charge of the office was to provide leadership and facilitation to faculty and student exchanges for study and research. A formal visiting scholar program was established within the office.
2001Two new dual degrees in Nursing and Health Policy and Nursing and Information Systems were initiated.
2004Second Career Nursing Program was revised to be completed in 12 months.
2005The new Clinical Simulation Labs are officially opened with support from the Provost’s Office and the University of Michigan Health System.
2006Kathleen Potempa named Dean and Professor at the School of Nursing.
2007The School achieved 5th place ranking nationally in the U.S. News and World Report ranking of nursing schools, continuing its record placement among the top five nursing programs in the United States for over two decades.
2009The Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program is approved by the faculty.
2011The International Health Concentration is approved by the faculty and an agreement is signed with the Peace Corps.  The U-M School of Nursing becomes the first nursing school to partner with the Peace Corps' Master's International program.
2012U-M Board of Regents approved the construction of a new School of Nursing building of ~ 75,000 square feet to include instructional spaces, a clinical learning center with simulation and skill labs, and simulated patient suites.
2015The new School of Nursing building opens for the 2015 Fall semester. A grand opening ceremony, open house and alumni gala were held to celebrate.
2016UMSN celebrates its 125 anniversary. Special events will be held all year long to honor the past and embrace the future of nursing education, research, and global impact.