History of Kent State's College of Nursing

The establishment of a nursing program at Kent State followed long-standing, regional interest in collegiate nursing.

The Ohio Board of Regents (now the Ohio Department of Higher Education) granted KSU approval to establish a baccalaureate degree program in nursing in November 1966. At their November 15, 1967, meeting, the Ohio State Board of Nursing Education and Nurse Registration gave the university approval to conduct the program.

In January 1968, the National League for Nursing (NLN) offered reasonable assurance of accreditation. Provisional status was changed to a full 8‐year accreditation in May 1971, just prior to the graduation of the first class from the KSU School of Nursing in June 1971. In September 1977, the first graduate students for study at the master's level were admitted to the School of Nursing.

In 1978, KSU nursing moved into its own new building near the science complex, the library, and the student center, and in 1985 the building was formally named the "Linnea E. Henderson Hall, School of Nursing," in honor of the founding dean.

Since the death of Dr. Henderson in 1984, six deans—Stephanie Clatworthy, Davina Gosnell, Julie Johnson, Laura Dzurec, Barbara Broome and Versie Johnson-Mallard—have taken administrative responsibility for the School of Nursing, which on September 9, 1999, became the Kent State University College of Nursing, through the approval of the Board of Trustees.

Currently, the College of Nursing is one of the largest and most comprehensive nursing programs in Ohio with over 14,000 alumni.

Over 50 Years Strong

The major milestones, partnerships, and events that have shaped our college since we were founded in 1967.

2010s - Innovators in Nursing Education
  • 2017
    • July - Received second designation as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing
    • 50th anniversary year
  • 2015
    • May - 12,000 alumni.
  • 2014
    • Jul. - Collaborative partnership formed with Federal University of Santa Catarina
    • Mar. 17 - Dr. Barbara Broome, two time alumna, becomes the sixth dean.
  • 2013
    • Nov. 4 - Named a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing.
    • Aug. 1 - Dr. Laura Dzurec steps down as dean after 7 years. Dr. Susan Stocker is named interim dean.
  • 2012
    • Dec. - Data released shows enrollment doubled at the college since 2002.
    • Oct. 29 - Received the Innovations in Professional Nursing Education Award from AACN.
    • 11,000 alumni
  • 2011
    • Jan. - Enter partnership with Urban Zen Foundation to incorporate wellness and self-care into program curriculum.
  • 2010
    • Dec. 16 - Received approval from the Ohio Board of Regents to begin offering the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in 2011. 
    • July 5 - Named the 4th largest nursing school in the nation by Modern Healthcare.
2000s - One of the nation's largest nursing schools
  • 2006
    • July 5 - The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing (OJIN) is purchased by the American Nurses Association after 10 years of publication. Proceeds go toward nursing scholarship.
    • Jun. 5 - Dr. Laura Dzurec becomes the fifth dean.
  • 2003
    • Spring - Accelerated BSN program for second-degree nurses is introduced.
  • 2001
    • Spring - All MSN core courses are available online.
    • Spring - We have 7,000 alumni.
  • ​2000
    • Fall - First students admitted to our Ph.D. in nursing program.
1990s - From School to College
  • ​1999
    • Sep. 9 - The School of Nursing becomes the College of Nursing, through the approval of the Board of Trustees.
  • ​1996
    • ​June - KSU nursing faculty, in partnership with the American Nurses Association, create The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, which was the first peer-reviewed, electronic-only journal without charge in nursing.
1980s - Tragedy and Triumph
  • 1989
    • Dr. Stephanie Clatworthy resigns her position as dean. Dr. Davina Gosnell becomes the third dean.
  • 1985
    • The nursing building was renamed the "Linnea E. Henderson Hall, School of Nursing" in honor of our founding dean.
  • 1984
    • Aug. 1 - Dr. Stephanie Clatworthy becomes the second dean.
    • Jun. 4Dr. Irene Bosco is named acting dean.
    • Apr. 28 - Dean Linnea Henderson passes away. 
  • 1983
    • We have 1,760 alumni
1970s - Unexpected growth, incredible leadership
  • 1979
    • May - We have 1,000 alumni. Our first MSN class graduates.
  • 1978
    • The School of Nursing moves into the newly constructed nursing building, now known as Henderson Hall.
  • 1977
    • Sep. - First class of Master's-level students are admitted.
    • Spring - The Board of Trustees authorizes our Master of Science in Nursing program, the 4th in Ohio and 2nd in Northeast Ohio. The original concentrations include Psychiatric Mental Health, Family Health, and part-time in Nursing of the Adult.
  • 1974
    • School moves to Franklin Hall.
  • 1971
    • May - We are granted a full 8‐year accreditation from the National League for Nursing and receive full approval from the Ohio State Board of Nursing Education and Nurse Registration.
    • May - Our first BSN class graduates.
  • 1970
    • Sep. 15 - School moved from Lowry Hall to old Health Center.
    • Jul. 1 - We become an independent school (no longer under Arts & Sciences).
1960's - Our beginnings
  • 1968
    • Jan. - National League for Nursing (NLN) offers reasonable assurance of accreditation.
    • First BSN class, 84 in total, starts sophomore nursing sequence. School moved from Bowman Hall to Lowry Hall.
  • 1967
    • Nov. 15 - Ohio State Board of Nursing Education and Nurse Registration gives the university approval for the nursing program. The School of Nursing is placed under the College of Arts & Sciences. Dr. Linnea Henderson is employed as Dean.
  • 1966
    • Nov - Ohio Board of Regents grants KSU approval to establish a baccalaureate degree program in nursing.