Timeline: The College of Nursing 1967-2017
In the 1960s, most nurses completed training at hospital schools – fewer than 15% had a BSN. In 1964, a consultant from the NLN gave a report to the Board of Regents, recommending the creation of new BSN programs in Ohio.
The next year, Kent State entered a collaborative program with St. Luke’s and Mt. Siani Hospitals. 160 student nurses completed one year of coursework at Kent, then completed two years of nurses’ training at the hospital, resulting in a diploma in nursing.
The Pittsburgh Press
A School of Nursing at Kent!
In July of 1967, Kent State University School of Nursing was established as an academic department under the College of Arts and Sciences and physically located in Bowman Hall. The school did not have a permanent home for the next 11 years. It moved from Bowman to Lowry in ’68, to the “Old Health Center” in ’70, and to Franklin in ’74. Clinical courses were completed at St. Luke’s and Mt. Siani Hospitals.
Photo by Imperious Images
Dr. Linnea E. Henderson Named 1st Dean
Dr. Linnea E. Henderson, assistant dean of nursing at Western Reserve University, was named director of the fledgling school.
First Class Graduates
Our first BSN class graduates.
The 65 graduates were: Deborah Aiton, Pamela Ames, Suzanne L. Bainbridge, William Baker, Linda Balogh, Ruth Bellan, Pamela Bertram, Susan Biasella, Carol Bojanowski, Deborah Bows, Judith Brode, Jacqueline Cabala, Cheryl Cannon, Glenda Chipps, Mary K. Cleland, Mary Coblentz, Ruth Craig, June Crago, Victoria J. D'Ambrocia, Deborah Davis, Carolyn Domisic, Kathleen Deucher, Judith Dewitz, Patricia Disbro, Martha Dunfree, Nancy Jane Ebert, Tracie Ewing, Christine Fedor, Judie Fitzgerald, Patricia Gless, Sally Hayward, Judy Hershberger, Rebecca Kachmar, Janet Karl, Barbara Kass, Kathleen Kovalak, Marion Lettau, Marjorie Lewis, Susan G. Lloyd, Linda McClelland, Rebecca S. McIntyre, Kathleen Mackin, Ellen Meyers, Mary Jane Michaels, Sally Miller, Claire D. Nalepka, Judith Nicholson, Marilyn Norton, Elizabeth Nowak, Becky Overcasher, Carol Patterson, Dian Peters, Barbara Pollacek, Kathryn Rogers, Jean Seber, Susan Shonk, Susan Skoda, Diana Spann, Deborah Spindle, Marilyn Stentz, Marlene Walsh, Robert Welton, Janet Williams, Roxia Wolfe, and Kathleen A. Zafarana.
Left: KSU Special Collections & Archives; Right: Daily Kent Stater
Susan Biasella, '71, tells the story behind the original Kent State nursing uniformTranscript of "The Uniform" Story
Kent State Special Collections & Archives
The presentation of a pin upon completion of a nursing program has long been a tradition of the nursing profession. In keeping with this tradition, the first graduating class designed the current Kent State University College of Nursing pin. The pin displays a simple, modern design of the Kent State University seal. When worn, the pin not only identifies the wearer as a graduate from the College of Nursing, but as a baccalaureate graduate from the University as well.
The Class Pledge
The class pledge, written by the class of 1973, has been recited by every Kent State nursing graduate at Convocation (our nurse pinning ceremony) since.
From the 1979 Convocation Program
Graduate Program Established
The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program was approved in 1977, the second such program in Northeast Ohio. The first class of Master’s students enrolled that Fall to study Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, Family Health Nursing, or Nursing of the Adult.
The first class of master's students. Photo courtesy of Kent State Special Collections and Archives.
We're Finally Home
The School of Nursing moves from Franklin into its newly constructed building which it has called home ever since. The building, designed by Ward Associated Architects, is three stories and includes large lab spaces, classrooms, study areas, and a 230-seat auditorium.
By the end of the 1970's, Kent State School of Nursing had grown tremendously. There were 1,000 alumni in 1979, including a few from the first MSN class that graduated that year.
Courtesy of Kent State Special Collections and Archives.
In late 1983, Dean Linnea Henderson announced that she would retire after 17 years of deanship, in July of 1984. The Ohio Senate passed a resolution lauding her achievements in March of 1984, and she was selected to receive the KSU President’s Medal for extraordinary service to the university that same month.
Dean Henderson did not live to see her retirement. In the early morning hours of Wednesday, April 25, 1984, she passed away at Suburban Community Hospital in Cleveland, where she had been hospitalized for several weeks prior. Then Kent State President Michael Schwartz presented her with the President’s Medal a week before her death.1983-1984
President Michael Schwartz on Dr. Henderson's Death
"To have had [Linnea Henderson's] friendship was a wonderful experience. But, it seems to me, that each of us now carries a new — another — responsibility. To encourage the discouraged, to befriend the lonely, to refresh the tired is no mean feat. Now we must not forget her lesson and we must behave as she did and teach others to behave in like fashion. I am sorry that all of us have lost our friend and teacher. But I am not saddened. After all, in this world of so many acquaintances, it's really something to be able to say that one has also been a friend."
—President Michael Schwartz, to the graduates at Nursing Convocation1984
Dr. Stephanie Clatworthy Named 2nd Dean
Dr. Stephanie Clatworthy, assistant dean for undergraduate nursing studies at Wayne State University, was announced as the second dean on the school on April 19, 1984, less than a week prior to Dean Henderson’s death. Her mission was to “move forward in community services and increase research.”
Courtesy of Kent State Special Collections and Archives.
Nursing Building Named "Linnea E. Henderson Hall"
The Kent State Board of Trustees passed a resolution to rename the nursing building to “Linnea E. Henderson Hall” on December 5, 1984, in honor of the late dean. A building naming ceremony took place on April 29, 1985.
Dr. Rozella Schlotfeldt, dean emeritus of the Case Western Reserve University School of Nursing, and personal friend of Dr. Henderson, giving the keynote address. Courtesy of Kent State Special Collections and Archives.
Dr. Davina Gosnell Named 3rd Dean
Upon Dean Clatworthy’s resignation in June of 1989, Professor Davina Gosnell was named acting dean of the School. Gosnell had been a part of the faculty since 1978. On July 1, 1990, Gosnell was officially named “dean” of the school and planned to move the nursing program into a “research oriented agenda.”
BSN Program Expands to Regional Campuses
Due to a nursing shortage in Trumbull county, the BSN program began to be offered at the Trumbull campus in 1991. Established by current dean Barbara Broome, students could complete the first two years of the program at Trumbull, then take the remainder of the courses at the Kent campus. This program was later expanded to most of the other regional campuses. Today, students can complete all four years of the BSN program at the Kent, Geauga, Salem, Stark, and Trumbull campuses.Aug. 1991
MSN-MBA Dual Degree Program
The dual master’s degree in nursing and business administration (MSN-MBA) was introduced in the fall of 1994. A collaborative effort between the School of Nursing and the KSU Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship, the program allows students to earn both an MSN and an MBA in a lot less time than earning them separately.Aug. 1994
KSU nursing faculty, in partnership with the American Nurses Association, create The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing (OJIN), which was the first peer-reviewed, electronic-only journal without charge in nursing. In 2006, it is purchased by the American Nurses Association after 10 years of publication. Proceeds go toward nursing scholarship.
The homepage of OJIN on Feb. 8, 1998. Courtesy of the Internet Wayback Machine.
Designated as a College of Nursing
On September 9, 1999, the School of Nursing was renamed Kent State University College of Nursing. The change took place to align the name with the profession and so that it would coincide with the start of the Joint Ph.D. in Nursing program.
After 15 years of planning and development, Kent State University and the University of Akron began to offer a joint Ph.D. in nursing program in the fall of 2000. This program was unique because it shared faculty and resources from both universities. It was the first Ph.D. in nursing program provided by public universities in the area, as well as the first doctoral program approved by the Ohio Board of Regents since 1994.
The first class of Ph.D. in Nursing Students. Courtesy of the University of Akron.
Accelerated BSN Program
The Accelerated BSN program for second-degree students was established in 2003. This program allows students who already have a bachelor's degree to complete their BSN in less than two years. The first class of 23 graduated in December of 2004. Today, there are over 100 students in the program and daytime, evening, and weekend cohort options.2003
Dr. Julie Johnson Named 4th Dean
Dr. Julie Johnson, dean of the University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, became the fourth dean of the college.
Dr. Laura Dzurec Named 5th Dean
Dr. Laura Dzurec, dean of the University of Connecticut School of Nursing, was named the fifth dean of the college on June 5, 2006.
The Barbara Donaho Distinguished Leadership in Learning Awards
In 2002, Kent State University College of Nursing Advisory Chair, Barbara Donaho, forged the idea that clinical partnerships between the university and area hospitals should receive substantial recognition.
She recognized that preceptors take the time to work diligently to train our nursing students, while receiving no additional compensation for their services. It is in this spirit that the Barbara Donaho Distinguished Leadership in Learning Award was created in 2007.
Since the award's creation 11 years ago, nearly 300 preceptors have been recognized.View a List of Recipients
Presentation of awards to recipients during the 1st Annual Donaho Awards
5-Year Grant Supports Nursing's Diverse Future
For 5 years, over 70 students from underrepresented or disadvantaged backgrounds received scholarships to complete our Accelerated BSN program through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program. This program helped address the nursing shortage and increased the diversity of professional nurses in Northeast Ohio and across the nation.
RWJF New Careers in Nursing recipients.
Olga A. Mural Simulation Lab
The Olga A. Mural Simulation Laboratory opened on April 23, 2008, thanks to a generous gift of $1 million from the late Olga A. Mural.
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program
First students admitted to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.
The first class of DNP graduates, From left: Monica Lutz and Johnett Benson. Photo by Bob Christy.
Photo by Bob Christy.
Dr. Barbara Broome Named 6th Dean
Dr. Barbara Broome, associate dean at the University of South Alabama College of Nursing, was named the sixth dean of the college on March 17, 2014. Dean Broome earned both her BSN and MSN from Kent State University and served as an associate nursing professor at the Kent and Trumbull campuses in the 1990s.
Photo by Bob Christy.