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History of our School

Cover from U-M School of Nursing HistoryThe University of Michigan School of Nursing has a rich heritage that is over a century in the making. Professional nursing education began in the United States in 1873. The national trend came to Ann Arbor in 1891 when the University of Michigan Training School for Nurses was organized in conjunction with the new University Hospital located on Catherine Street in Ann Arbor.

The university’s hospital believed it was incomplete without a nurse training school. The program was two years in length and six students were admitted in the first year, which was organized and administered by the Medical School under the direction of Jane Pettigrew. 

Recent years have seen a continued emphasis on driving the science and profession of nursing. The U-M School of Nursing now offers degree programs through three departments: Undergraduate Studies, Health Behavior and Biological Sciences, and Systems, Populations and Leadership. 

In 2015, after two years of construction, the School of Nursing Building opened. It included space for classes, faculty and staff offices, and an expanded Clinical Learning Center. The 125th anniversary celebration in April, 2016 highlighted the school’s first purpose-built building for nursing education, with integrated technology and state of the art simulation facilities, as well as revealed its global reach.

The U-M School of Nursing remains committed to responding to the changing social, economic, and scientific landscape as we evolve to best serve our profession and our students.