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Creighton Nursing School Celebrates 50th Anniversary of BSN Degree

Nursing School Celebrates 50th Anniversary of BSN Degree

The Creighton University School of Nursing will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program, Sept. 26-28. Three of the four living members of the 1958 graduating class plan to attend.

In addition, the Creighton University School of Nursing is 80 years old this fall.

“The 50th anniversary truly represents a pivotal moment in the history of nursing education at Creighton,” said Eleanor Howell, Ph.D., dean of nursing. “Fifty years ago, nursing students attended apprentice-style diploma programs at hospitals while completing their BSN degrees at Creighton. The new program allowed Creighton to provide all four years of academic- and clinical-based programs, helping to prepare graduates for nursing’s expanding role in health care.”

According to a University publication at the time, the new BSN program’s goal was to produce nurses “who will be more widely read, able to make better judgments, more adaptable; have more maturity and poise, and as a result be better nurses (i.e., professionals).”

The first class included seven graduates. Today, the School of Nursing boasts nearly 500 undergraduates and 80 master’s degree students, three curricula tracks for a BSN degree, a Clinical Nurse Leader program, and Nebraska’s only Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program.

“Just as it was 50 years ago, nursing continues to evolve and play an essential role in the delivery of health care,” Howell said. “This anniversary celebrates not only the past accomplishments but an exciting future for nursing education at Creighton.”

The anniversary celebration will be held in conjunction with the University’s Reunion Weekend 2008.

As part of the weekend, School of Nursing alumni, faculty and students will perform 50 hours of community service to commemorate 50 years, and the school will hold an alumni experts’ symposium.

A plate designed for the School of Nursing by artist Peggy Karr will also be unveiled. The plate design is based on a Creighton nursing pin created in 1964 by alumnus John Michael McCabe, the first man to graduate from the four-year BSN. On September 28, McCabe will perform his own compositions of liturgical music during Mass at St. John’s Church on the Creighton campus. While a nursing student at Creighton, McCabe also served as University organist and choir director.