Wayne State University

History and facts

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The College of Nursing is an integral part of Wayne State University, a major research institution with a multicultural urban teaching, research and service mission.

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The College is regionally, nationally and internationally recognized for educating graduates and undergraduates as practitioners and scholars who provide leadership for the profession of nursing.

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In 2016, the College of Nursing, in partnership with the School of Medicine, received additional federal funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration to enhance the Michigan Area Health Education Center program to improve access to and quality of healthcare for Michigan residents and reduce health disparities.

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WSU nursing students received more than $400,000 in College of Nursing-awarded scholarships for 2016-17.

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The College of Nursing Office of Health Research was the first of its kind and continues to promote and support nursing research.

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The Neonatal Nurse Practitioner program is the only one of its kind at any Michigan college or university.

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The College of Nursing has five distance learning center and high technology classrooms and two simulation laboratories.

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The Campus Health Center, the first on-site clinic at Wayne State University, is a nurse-managed facility operated by the nonprofit Nursing Practice Corporation. In 2016, nurse practitioners at the center provided nearly 10,000 visits and also conducted health education programs and vaccinations campus-wide. 

1930  City College of Detroit establishes a Department of Nursing with Katharine E. Faville, M.S., RN as director.

1931  A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is established requiring two years of college and 30 months of training in a hospital school of nursing.

1945  The Wayne State University College of Nursing begins operation. Faville, who left the City College of Detroit in 1934, returns as Nursing Department Director for WSU. It is the first American college to offer a B.S.N. degree covering nursing fundamentals, medical-surgical, maternity, pediatric, psychiatric, public health, principles and methods of teaching, and fundamentals of administration. The College of Nursing Alumni Association is founded the following year.

1947  Global education begins when the Rockefeller Foundation sponsors nursing students from abroad. The college is the first in the nation to receive Rockefeller funds for international education.

Other funding agencies were the International Cooperation Agency, Kellogg Foundation, World Health Organization, American Nurses Association and National Council of Jewish Women. By 1962, the College had educated 160 foreign nurses.

1954-1955  The Master of Science in Nursing program is established; on June 12, 1955, the Sigma Theta Tau International Lambda chapter is founded with 54 charter members.

1958-1959  The Katharine Faville Residence and the Helen Newberry Joy Residence - WSU's first residence halls - are dedicated.

On November 18, 1959, the Richard A. Cohn Building, named for the late Detroit publishing magnate, opens as the home of the College of Nursing, financed through a 1956 gift from the Detroit Hospital Fund and the Richard Cohn Fund.

1962 Contracts with Dillard and Tuskegee universities pave the way for the development of partnerships to prepare African-American nurse faculty.

1965 Margaret L. Shetland, Ed.D., RN, FAAN is appointed as second dean of the WSU College of Nursing.

1969  The Center for Health Research, the first of its kind to be affiliated with an educational institution, is chartered, with Harriet Werley, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, as its first director.  Faculty members Mabel Wandelt and Virginia Cleland prepared a grant proposal resulting in funding from the HRSA Division of Nursing Research to support the Center. 

Later that year, the first Research Day is held at the college for faculty and students to present their research findings. The Learning Resource Center also opens featuring computer-assisted instruction, videotaped lessons and learning modules in nursing fundamentals.

1973 Margretta Styles, Ed.D., RN, FAAN is named the third dean of the WSU College of Nursing.

1974  The Office of Community Services and Educational Services is instituted by director Dorothy Reilly, Ed.D., RN, FAAN to operate the M.S.N. program, extending the College of Nursing reach to Flint, Grand Rapids, northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. The National Institutes of Health and the Kellogg Foundation provide funding from 1977 to 1987.

Ruth Morrissey, M.S.N., RN becomes the first director of the Office of Student Services, known today as the Office of Student Affairs.

1975  A doctoral program in nursing is offered, with funding from the Division of Nursing. The Physical Assessment Learning laboratory is created, also through funding from the Division of Nursing.

1976 Lorene Fischer, M.A., RN, FAAN is named the fourth dean of the College of Nursing.

1976  The college appoints Bernice Morton, Ph.D., RN as its first Affirmative Action Officer.

1988 Gloria Smith, Ph.D., RN, FAAN is appointed as fifth dean of the College of Nursing.

1989  The State of Michigan Board of Nursing approves the College of Nursing Second Career Second Degree program, creating an accelerated B.S.N. curriculum for students who already hold a bachelor's degree or higher and wish to pursue a career in nursing.

1990 Joint positions are established at the College in partnership with the Detroit Medical Center.

1996 Edythe S. Hough, Ed.D., RN, FAAN is appointed as sixth dean of the College of Nursing.

1997  The first endowed nursing professorship is established at the College: The Katharine Faville Professor of Nursing Research.
 
1998 Barbara K. Redman, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, former executive director of the American Nurses Association and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, is named the seventh dean of the College of Nursing.

Michigan Academic Consortium: Nurse Managed Primary Care, in partnership with other state universities, is funded by the Kellogg Foundation (1998-2003).

2000  The Elizabeth Schotanus Professor of Pediatric Nursing is established in partnership with Children's Hospital of Michigan. 

2001 The LifeLine Awards are established to honor individual contributions to health care in our region, state and nation. Ada Jacox, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, Distinguished Professor Emerita and alumna, is the first honoree. The function becomes the largest annual fundraising event for the College of Nursing.

2002 Recruitment of doctoral and post-doctoral international students intensifies. Partnerships are initiated with nursing schools in Jordan, Thailand and Brazil.

2003 The college partners with the Detroit Medical Center to establish the Center for Clinical Research to encourage the use of evidence-based practice.

2004 Nurse Midwifery program is created.

The Nursing Skills Lab is completed.

2005 A Center for Clinical Research is established in collaboration with the Henry Ford Health System.  

The college opens its first state-of-the-art distance learning classroom.

2006 The college's doctoral program is ranked fifth in America based on the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index as reported by New York-based Academic Analytics.

The college partners with William Beaumont Hospitals to create a Center for Clinical Research.

2007 The Nurse Midwifery program receives full accreditation and graduates its first class.

The college's simulation lab is opened.

2008 The Doctorate in Nursing Practice program is established.

The college is instrumental in assisting with the establishment and operation of Mitch Albom's S.A.Y. Detroit Family Health Clinic, a free clinic devoted to homeless and uninsured women and children.

2010 The biophysical lab opens, giving faculty and graduate students the space and equipment necessary to make biological and physical measures that support their behavioral studies.

The College of Nursing and School of Medicine receive a federal grant from HRSA to create a statewide Area Health Education Council to improve access to high quality primary care in the state and reduce health disparities in underserved areas. 

Doctor of Nursing program receives accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

2011 The College of Nursing installs and deploys the first Video Conferencing Network Bridge on Wayne's campus, allowing faculty, students and collaborators to hold conferences from anywhere in the world with a data connection.

The College of Nursing Alumni Professorship is established with gifts from numerous alumni and friends of the college.

2013 Nancy Artinian, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, associate dean for research and director of the Office of Health Research, is named interim dean of the college.

2015 Laurie Lauzon Clabo, Ph.D., RN, appointed dean of the college.