College of Nursing 75th Anniversary

The University of Utah's Nursing Programs began in 1913 with basic nursing courses for students enrolled in area diploma programs. In 1948, Nursing was granted College status, officially beginning the College of Nursing.

Early Beginnings


Phoebe Kandel, MS, BS, AM, came to the University of Utah as Professor of and Director of Nursing Education (1941-1943)

Beginning in 1913, basic nursing courses for students enrolled in area diploma programs were taught at the University of Utah. The College had a particularly strong affiliation with the Salt Lake General Hospital School of Nursing from 1913 until 1940.

When Congress appropriated money for nursing education programs in 1941, the University was awarded funds to establish a Department of Nursing Education in the School of Education. Phoebe Kandel, MS, was appointed Chair of the Department in 1942. Offices for the new nursing education department were in the old campus gymnasium building.


Hazelle B. Macquin, MS, was the first Dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Utah (1948-1953)

In 1948, the University of Utah’s involvement with three-year diploma programs was phased out, and nursing gained College status within the University. Hazelle B. Macquin, MS, was named first Dean of the College of Nursing in 1948. At that time, the College was housed in Building 430, a one story, surplus barracks building which had been restructured into classrooms, offices and laboratory space.

Two curricula were offered in the College’s early years, each leading to the
baccalaureate degree in nursing. One was for RN licensed students (graduates
of diploma or associate degree nursing programs) and the other was for basic
students who entered the University as freshmen. To accommodate the two
curricula and also meet the needs of a large group of AD graduates in the
Ogden area, classes were taught both on the main University campus and in
Ogden. Psychiatric nursing experiences were obtained at the Utah State
Hospital in Provo, and students received their public health experiences in
either Salt Lake or Ogden. Some student groups also went to the Thomas D.
Dee Hospital in Ogden for their maternity and/or operating room experiences.

Mildred D. Rordame Quinn was appointed Dean of the College of Nursing in 1954 and Professor in 1958. She retired in 1973 as Professor Emeritus.

Mildred Rordame Quinn, MS, became Dean of the
College in 1953. Dean Quinn’s plans included achieving
NLN accreditation and preparing a graduate program. Full
accreditation for the baccalaureate program was received
from the NLN in 1955. The College began working with
the University of Utah Graduate Council to develop a
strong Master of Science in Nursing degree, and four students
enrolled in the new graduate program in 1958 to prepare
as clinical specialists in psychiatric nursing.

During most of this period, baccalaureate students continued to live at the
Salt Lake General Hospital Nurses Home. Nursing courses were held there,
and students traveled to campus to fill their University requirements.

Two men, Ray Cameron and Richard Johnson, became the College’s first male
students in 1955 (Class of 1959). They were excluded from classes teaching
catheterization of females, and were often thought by hospital staff to be orderlies.


In 1961, the NLN granted accreditation for the new graduate program and continuing accreditation for the baccalaureate program. Additional graduate programs were developed during the 1960s:

  • The Medical-Surgical graduate program began with a rehabilitation focus, and later incorporated a strong family health focus; in 1968, a minor in biochemistry became a requirement for this program.
  • Joyce Cameron, MSN (PhD 1981) was hired in 1964 to design and implement the Nurse Midwifery (NMW) graduate program, and in the fall of 1965, four students were admitted to that specialty. Three NMW students completed their studies and graduated in 1967.
  • An award from the Children’s Bureau in 1965 funded the Child Nursing graduate program. Three students were admitted in 1966, and two graduated in 1968. This program also required a minor in genetic and molecular biology and functional preparation in either administration or education.

[Joyce Foster Photo?]

The 1960s also saw formal establishment of continuing education (CE) efforts for nurses in the community. Continuing Education was expanded to Division status within the College in 1964. There were efforts to develop a strong association with the University’s Division of CE and also to coordinate with the newly adopted certification program of the Utah Nurses’ Association.


During the early 1960s, plans to build a medical center at the University of Utah were initiated, and the old Salt Lake General Hospital was moved to the new University Hospital, on campus, in 1965. Initial plans were for nursing to occupy the 4th floor of the new building, but ultimately offices and classroom spaces were designed in an area at the south end of the first floor of the new building. Graduate faculty offices and classrooms remained at Building 430.

As health facilities construction grants became available from the federal government, Dean Mildred D. Quinn applied for a grant to build a new College of Nursing building. In 1966, the construction grant was approved, with matching funds provided by the Utah State Legislature.  construction of the new building began in 1966. At the same time, plans were begun for a Florence Nightingale statue to be placed in the new building.

The Maternal-Child Nursing Project was created in 1970 at Shiprock, NM, on the Navajo Reservation. The project provided unique clinical experiences for nurse-midwifery students. Practice sites were also expanded to the Hill Air Force Base Hospital, Tooele, and Vernal, Utah.



The College of Nursing took occupancy of its new building on January 1, 1969.
On November 1, 1969, the new building was dedicated. Unique features of the
building included basic and advanced Learning Resource Laboratories; Life
Study, Physiology, and Behavioral Observation Laboratories; a fully equipped
television studio with color reproduction capability; and a research center.

By 1972 five full time faculty held the earned PhD; in 1977 there were 21 full
time or part time teaching faculty with an earned PhD; by 1978 the College of
Nursing had 25 doctoral faculty.

[Photo of faculty?]

Funds were awarded by the Intermountain Regional Medical Program to develop a Family Nurse Practitioner program in November 1972, In March 1974, 13 RNs were admitted to the one-year program. Federal funds provided a contract to prepare 55 RNs as Family Nurse Practitioners in July 1974. This program was operated as a Continuing Education Certificate program until June 1977.


Madeleine M. Leininger, PhD, was appointed Dean of the College of Nursing in 1974 and served in that role until 1980.

Dean Mildred D. Quinn retired, and Associate Professor Bonnie Clayton, PhD, was named Acting Dean in June 1973. During 1973 the University of Utah Health Sciences Center LOOKING BACK was established, with Dr. John Dixon as first Vice President.

In July 1974, Madeleine Leininger, PhD, was named Dean of the College of Nursing. Her highest priority was to initiate a doctoral program. A Doctoral Program Planning Committee was established, and a feasibility grant from the Division of Nursing, 1976 -1981, assisted faculty in this work. Fall of 1977 saw admission of the first doctoral students, and the College became the 22nd US institution to offer a doctorate in nursing.

The Florence Nightingale statue, sculpted by Dr. Avard Fairbanks in Portuguese rose marble, was unveiled and dedicated May 23, 1975. The College sponsored the first of several National Transcultural Nursing Conferences in 1975, and in 1978 the Transcultural Nursing Society was formed under Dr. Leininger’s leadership. A Nursing Research Support Center was formed in 1975, which later became the Office of Research.

[Photo of Florence Statue?]

During 1976 Joan Uhl, MS (PhD 1985), Liz Close, MS and Joyceen Boyle, MS (PhD 1982) were instrumental in forming a College Honor Society, a prerequisite to making formal application as a Sigma Theta Tau Chapter. In April 1978, the Chartering and Induction Ceremonies of the Gamma Rho Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau were held, with Joan Uhl serving as the first Chapter President.


In September 1977, the Geriatric Practitioner program directed by Margaret
Dimond, PhD and the Family Nurse Practitioner program directed by Sue
Huether, MS (PhD 1981) were established as separate graduate programs
within the College of Nursing. Research pathways in physiology, psychosocial
and transcultural nursing were offered. In 1978-79 the College, in
collaboration with the Utah State Office of Education and the Utah Health
Department, received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant to prepare
School Nurse Practitioners at the graduate level.


Dean Leininger stepped down in 1979, and Associate Dean Annette Ezell, PhD, served as acting dean from January to July 1980. In July 1980, Linda K. Amos, EdD, became Dean. The number of baccalaureate graduates continued to increase; 105 students entered the undergraduate program, reaching the College’s capacity.

Graduate programs proliferated and were expanded during this period. The first Occupational Health Nursing program was established in 1979. The Medical-Surgical graduate program was expanded to offer cardiovascular and respiration specialties, as well as concepts in teaching/learning and administration. In 1983, the program was restructured to prepare clinical specialists for the care of acutely ill adults. The Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program admitted its first students in 1982, and the Utah State Board of Regents assigned the University Gerontology Program to the College of Nursing that same year.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant funded a one-year program to prepare School Nurse Practitioners, and the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program began admitting students in 1983. The Nurse-Midwifery Program expanded clinical sites for student and faculty practice, and the BirthCare/HealthCare clinic was formed as a faculty practice group. In 1985 the Occupational Health Nurse Specialist Program was reorganized to award the Master of Science in Public Health, a multi-disciplinary degree.

The College of Nursing hosted theFirst Annual “Issues in Nursing Research Conference” in Park City, Utah, in 1984; the conference is still one of he highlights of each year. During 1984-85 another NLN accreditation process was completed, and full accreditation was awarded in October 1985. Also in 1985, the Office of Community Service and Faculty Practice was established. Relations between the College and University Hospital were strengthened when Evelyn Hartigan, RN, PhD was appointed Associate Administrator for Patient Care Services. Dean Amos and Dr. Hartigan developed a master plan, and a Nursing Council began meeting to plan future developments in nursing at the Health Sciences Center.

The use of technology expanded in this decade. A word processing system for staff was introduced in 1985, and a student microcomputer lab opened in 1986. The Development and Public Relations Office was established in 1987, with Mary Lynne Clark at the helm. Under Mary Lynne’s direction, the College began semi-annual publication of the excellence magazine.

The Nurse Midwifery program received five-year accreditation from the American College of Nurse Midwives in 1988, and the 40th Anniversary of the College of Nursing was celebrated that same year. Many alumni, faculty and friends of the College participated in the two-day event.


An International Office, headed by Mary Duffy, PhD, was established to coordinate the many affiliations around the world. Numerous continuing education offerings were delivered throughout the state, many in collaboration with area hospitals and other health agencies. A cooperative effort with the Salt Lake Community College brought a strong RN-BS Program back to the College of Nursing beginning in 1995.

The number of graduate programs was increased significantly. In 1990 graduate programs in Teaching Nursing, Oncology Nursing, and Nursing Informatics, plus an interdisciplinary program in Early Intervention, were funded and admitted students. New faculty were hired, and there has been a dramatic increase in the 11umber of students seeking preparation as nurse practitioners.

Computer resources were made available to all faculty, and the student computer lab was enlarged. Electronic mail and access to many new sources of information enriched both faculty productivity and student learning. The development of new clinical sites and affiliations provided opportunities to expand faculty practice and offer students additional community settings for their learning.

Distance Learning took on an increasingly significant role during this period. Courses were offered throughout the state, enabling students to achieve preparation as Advanced Practice RNs (APRN) without leaving the rural areas in which they live. EDNET (interactive television), audio and telephone conferencing, e-mail connections, and the distribution of classroom tapings and materials for at-home learning were methods employed successfully by several graduate programs.

Several endowed chairs were established, and numerous financial gifts and bequests to the College enabled expansion of financial aid for students as well as funding support for faculty research and other scholarly activities.

In March 1995, the US News and World Report listed “America’s Best  Graduate Schools” in nursing. The Master’s program in nursing at the  University of Utah was tied for the 21st ranking out of 215 accredited master’s programs in the United States.

Another eight-year NLN accreditation was awarded the College in 1993, and a University of Utah Graduate Council review of the nursing graduate programs conducted in 1996-97 was very complimentary. During the 1996-97 and 1997-98 school years, faculty worked diligently to revise all levels of curricula in preparation for the transition to semesters, which will occur in the Fall of 1998.



75th Anniversary