Nursing, School of

The School of Nursing was founded in 1950 as the first four-year school of nursing in the state to offer a bachelor's degree. (Duke University already had a three-year degree program.) UNC had offered summer extension classes for nurses beginning in the mid-1930s and a bachelor's degree in public health nursing in the School of Public Health starting in 1941. A nursing program was part of a major effort by the state legislature in the late 1940s to improve health care statewide. The effort included expanding UNC's medical program to four years from two years, building a state hospital, and adding dental and nursing schools to the existing pharmacy and public health programs.

The first class of twenty-seven white women that started the program in fall 1951 were the first full class of freshmen women to enroll at the university, as female enrollment was still limited elsewhere in the university. Their first dormitory was Smith Building. Residence halls, offices, and classrooms of the School of Nursing occupied space in a number of buildings over the years, including the hospital, until Carrington Hall opened in 1969.

The School of Nursing now offers bachelor of science and master of science degrees in nursing, a doctor of philosophy, and a doctor of nursing practice. Its focus remains on practice, research, teaching, and administration.