College of Nursing Celebrates 50 Years

TopBanner_CoverOur First 50 Years

In 1966, the Wisconsin State University-Oshkosh School of Nursing began with an enrollment of 27 students in a baccalaureate nursing program. Classrooms, faculty offices and a Nursing Arts Lab were located in Pollock House, the former home of William E. Pollock, president of Oshkosh Overall Company, now OshKosh B’gosh.

In the 1970s, WSU-O would become UWO and the School of Nursing would be changed to the College of Nursing (CON). As healthcare and technology evolved and changed through the years, UWO’s College of Nursing would grow and change dramatically.

BEGINNINGS 1966–1970

50Years1_Pg5_3001966
Helen Dorsch, dean from 1966 to 1975, was the founding dean of the WSU-O School of Nursing, now the UW Oshkosh College of Nursing (CON).

 

50Years3_Pg5_3001970
The Winnebago District Chapter of the Wisconsin Student Nurses Association is founded. It would later become the Oshkosh Student Nurses’ Association.

 

50Years2_Pg5_300The School of Nursing moves from the historic Pollock House to the newly completed Nursing Education Building.

GROWTH 1971–1979

1973
Enrollment in the College increases to a capacity of 150 students per year.

1974
The first class of students is admitted to the CON’s new Master of Science in Nursing Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (NP) Program created by Nancy Elsberry and Hildegarde Siegel. This is the first primary care NP program in Wisconsin.

1976
Hildegarde Siegel is dean from 1976 to 1979. The first issue of the College’s newsletter, now called CONtact magazine, is published.

BRANCHING OUT 1980–1989

50Years3_Pg6_3001980
Dixalene Bahleda is dean from 1980 to 1989.

A bachelor’s degree completion program for registered nurses is established.

50Years2_Pg6_3001984
The CON Research Center is initiated to assist faculty and students with research and scholarly endeavors.

Eta Pi, the UWO chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, is granted a charter in 1984.

50Years1_Pg6_3001987
The nursing skills laboratory is renovated with financial support from the Elmer Leach Foundation.

1989
Barbara Prybyski is interim dean from 1989 to 1991.

TECHNOLOGY 1990–1999

1992
Penny Cass is dean from 1992 to 1994.

1993
The government-funded “Family Health/La Clinica” medical van is established and travels to migrant camps to provide exams and treatment for Wisconsin’s migrant workers and their families.

The first Nightingale Awards are given to honor bedside nurses in Oshkosh for clinical excellence in patient care.

50Years2_Pg7_3001994

Merritt Knox is dean from 1994 to 2004. Dean Knox leads CON faculty and staff into the computer age and through technological change.

The Graduate Achievement Program certificate in Primary Healthcare Nursing
is established.

1995
The Living Healthy Community Clinic is established in the basement of the Nursing Education building.

DOCTORAL EDUCATION 2000–2015

50Years1_Pg7_3002003
The accelerated BSN second degree option is established.

2005
Rosemary Smith is dean from 2005 to 2015.

The Simulation Laboratory is established.

2006
The Great Lakes Chapter of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing is established.

2007
International clinical opportunities are established in multiple sites around the world, including Africa, India, Nicaragua and Peru.

2011
The Master of Science in Nursing for the Family Nurse Practitioner transitions to a Doctorate in Nursing Practice degree.

2015
Leslie Neal-Boylan is named dean in 2015.

The CON Advisory Council and the Partnership Council are founded.

A quarterly alumni newsletter is launched.

INTO THE FUTURE 2015 and Beyond

50Years3_Pg7_3002016
CON commits to program expansion to ensure a strong future workforce.

CON moves into its new space in January 2016. A time capsule is dedicated and will be opened during the 100th anniversary celebration in 2066.

The College celebrates its 50th anniversary with an enrollment of more than 800 students in the 2015–2016 academic year.

Learn more:

  • When on campus, be sure to visit the College of Nursing History Wall in person.
 

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