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The transition from a School to the College

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After nearly a decade of planning, the School of Nursing has officially become the College of Nursing, as of July this year. This is a huge step for the faculty, staff, leadership team, and students at the College of Nursing.  The project began in 2009 when the faculty at the School of Nursing (SON) approved a vision statement which would lead them towards College status.  The vision developed in 2009 stated - "to be an internationally renowned college of nursing sought out by those who are committed to lifelong inquiry for improving the health of diverse populations." The faculty and staff in the SON began work to develop fully functional doctoral programs and a successful trajectory of faculty research.  

The faculty set to accomplish these goals.  In 2012, the State Board Of Education (SBOE)  approved the PhD in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) - Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) programs for the School.  Graduate programs shifted at that time, and the MS/FNP program was “taught-out” as the new doctoral programs were established. “The doctoral programs have been successful as have faculty development in areas of research and scholarship,” says Nancy Renn, interim dean for the College of Nursing.

“With the growth of our programs it was time for it to move from the school to the college level. Becoming a College makes ISU the destination site to get a nursing degree,” Renn says, “We are proud to have the only PhD, only DNP FNP, and the only DNP - Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) programs in the state.” Renn adds, “Here at the College of Nursing we have worked hard to get where we are today. The community’s support has played an important role in our success. Being a College means different things to different people, but it means progress for everyone in the School of Nursing,” she says.

The College of Nursing isn’t the only school in the Kasiska Division of Health Sciences (KDHS) to transition college status.  The School of Communication and Rehabilitation Sciences has been approved to become the College Communication and Rehabilitation Sciences and the School of  Health Professions and Office of Medical and Oral Health have merged, into what is now the College of Health Professions.. These three new colleges join the College of Pharmacy, to make a total of four colleges within the KDHS.  Rex Force, vice president for health sciences at ISU, says the reorganization of the division will help improve communication and organizational efficiencies within the KDHS and across the University. “We wanted to pursue this reorganization because we’re interested in having the right kind of representation for all of our growing programs,” Force said.

In celebration of this major transition, the College of Nursing is hosting an open house on Sept. 24, from 5-7 in the lobby of the Beckley Nursing Building. Everyone is welcome.


Written by: Lindsay Taylor, College of Nursing Career Path Intern

Kasiska Division of Health Sciences - Learn more about the Kasiska family legacy and impact