History of the college

The lobby of the newly-opened Newton Hall

The Ohio State University College of Nursing has been educating nurses since its founding in 1914 as the Homeopathic Hospital Training Program for Nursing, a three-year diploma program. In 1922, the hospital was transferred to The Ohio State University College of Medicine and the renamed Starling-Loving Hospital. In 1928, the three-year nursing program was renamed The Ohio State University School of Nursing, with a five-year nursing program offered in 1930. In 1933, the university was offering both a three-year program leading to a nursing diploma, or a five-year education-science course leading to a Bachelor of Science in Education with a diploma in nursing.

By 1936, the three-year program was dropped, leaving only the five-year plan administered by the College of Education, in cooperation with the College of Medicine. The new structure became one of 23 approved by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Nursing in 1938. The university eliminated the five-year plan and transferred the school to the College of Medicine. The college-level program was reduced to that of a hospital training school.

A four-year program was established in 1941 leading to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. To meet the demands for nurses during the war, however, the three-year program was allowed to continue until 1946. The Master of Science in Nursing, the first in the state, and PhD programs, the first offered in Ohio by a public institution, followed in 1954 and 1985, respectively.

The School of Nursing broke ground for its own building in 1966, which was named for Mildred E. Newton, PhD, the school’s director from 1951 to 1968. The school continued under the administration of the College of Medicine until 1984, when it was elevated to independent college status as The Ohio State University College of Nursing.

Visit the College of Nursing's Centennial website! It has a large gallery of photos, class composites dating back to 1917, a Remember When? section, photos from the Centennial Gala and Alumni reception, the Centennial Timeline, 100 Alumni Transformers of Nursing & Healthcare, the Centennial video, and much more.


Directors, School of Nursing (1951-1983)
Mildred E. Newton, PhD, RN, 1951-1968
Imogene M. King, EdD, RN, FAAN, 1968-1972
Lorane C. Kruse, MA, 1972-1973 (Acting)
Edna L. Fritz, EdD, RN, 1973-1983

Deans, College of Nursing (1983-2011)
Kathryn T. Schoen, PhD, 1983-1984 (Acting)
Grayce M. Sills, PhD, RN, FAAN, 1984-1986 (Acting)
Carole A. Anderson, PhD, RN, FAAN, 1986-2001
Elizabeth R. Lenz, PhD, RN, FAAN, 2001-2011
Bernadette M. Melnyk, PhD, RN, FAAN, 2011-


A photographic history of the College of Nursing

Photo history montage of School/College of Nursing since 1914

Historical photographs, top to bottom:

The 1917 nursing class at the University Homeopathic Hospital;
Student nurses in 1952;
The “1,000 student nurse” in 1960;
Groundbreaking for Newton Hall in 1966 with Mildred Newton (seated), Ohio State University President Novice G. Fawcett and Ohio Gov. James A. Rhodes;
Lab courses, 1975 (left) and 1989;
A nursing student in the Technology Learning Complex, 2008