The College of Nursing (CON) has been in the forefront of educating African American nurses for over 95 years. Established in 1918, it was structured like a 2-year diploma nursing program in a higher institution of learning for Blacks in Texas. The first degree granted by the University was in nursing. In 1928, the program was lengthened to three years and the first off campus affiliation begun in 1930. The nursing program was transformed into a professional baccalaureate program in 1952. The first baccalaureate degrees were awarded in 1956. Fourteen years later in 1968, the college developed an upper (professional) and lower division (liberal arts). This division was aligned with total concentration of nursing in Houston and affiliations at some of the most prominent hospitals in the world; while all pre-clinical or general studies courses continued to be offered on the main University campus. This division also provided opportunities for students from other general studies programs to apply for admission to the upper division. In 1983, the CON moved to the building at 6436 Fannin Street in the medical center and became a participating member of 42 institutions supporting the Texas Medical Center’s operation. The initial building at this location was demolished and a new state of the art building was constructed in 2005 and occupied in 2006. The new College of Nursing building is 12 stories and has over 120,000 square feet of space for operation.
The RN-BSN Completion track was created in 1978. In addition to offering courses at the CON campus, this track was expanded via telecommunication to distance sites at Bryan-College Station, home of the Texas A&M University, to the University Center in Montgomery County and to Huntsville Medical Center in Huntsville, Texas. Students enrolled in the RN-BSN track complete the program in 3 semesters or twelve months. In 2011, the program was approved to be offered online.
In 1999, the College of Nursing added the Master of Science in Nursing Degree offering the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program to meet the demand to increase the number of ethnic minority health care providers to unserved, underserved and vulnerable populations. This initiative was funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In 2005, two additional master’s programs were added: MSN Nurse Education and MSN Nurse Administration. In the MSN Nurse Education program, baccalaureate prepared nurses are educated to teach in a variety of settings including the teaching of patients and families, nursing students, nursing staff and health consumers. In the MSN Nurse Administration program, baccalaureate prepared nurses who are currently employed in management or administrative personnel in health care agencies are educated to work in a variety of leadership and managerial positions in the health care system. Post masters certificate programs are offered in each of the three graduate programs.
In January 2005, the LVN-BSN Program admitted the first cohort of 12 students. This program is offered at the Texas Medical Center Houston campus. The program is structured to be completed in four academic semesters.
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