College of Nursing upcoming 100th anniversary celebration features gala

by Vicky Cerino
September 12, 2017

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The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing, the state’s oldest and largest publicly-supported nursing college, is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Since its first class began with 13 women on Oct. 16, 1917, more than 15,000 students have graduated. There are 1,073 students currently enrolled at its five campuses in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney, Scottsbluff and Norfolk.

During the year-long centennial celebration, the college will incorporate recognition of the centennial during various events.

On Friday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m., the college will hold a 100th anniversary Centennial Gala at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Omaha. The cost of $50 will include a reception, dinner, and keynote speaker Deborah Trautman, Ph.D., president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Alumni awards will be presented as well as induction of the college’s first Hall of Fame honorees. Pre-registration for the gala closes on Oct. 13.

A Centennial History Book has been produced that will feature information and photos from 1917 to 2017.

"This event will be a tremendous and an absolutely lovely way to celebrate our theme of ‘A Century of Academic Nursing Excellence: Transforming the Future,’ " said Juliann Sebastian, Ph.D., dean of the UNMC College of Nursing. "Our White Coat ceremonies kicked off our centennial and celebrated our new pre-licensure students’ transition to the professional role. This year’s events will use the theme of the centennial, recognizing those who have come before us and the future yet to be written."

Through history, UNMC has led the way with programs to prepare nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse scientists and faculty. The college developed the nation’s first articulated career ladder program in 1973. It allowed students to proceed with an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s level program at their own pace. In 1989, the college developed the state’s first doctoral nursing program, and in 1992, it offered the state’s first nurse practitioner program.

Its distance education programs were cited nationally as innovative and as one way to address the nursing workforce shortage by allowing students to continue employment while completing their university degrees without being on campus.

Private funds will cover the costs of celebrations. Major sponsors of the centennial are Nebraska Medicine, Olsson Associates, Fusion Medical Services and the UNMC College of Nursing Alumni Engagement Council.

The history book is available for purchase during the Centennial Gala and also can be purchased ahead of time then shipped mid-October through the UNMC Bookstore at (click Shop then click General Merchandise).

Register for the Centennial Gala at For more information, contact Kat Hamilton at (402) 559-1063.

We are Nebraska Medicine and UNMC. Our mission is to lead the world in transforming lives to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities through premier educational programs, innovative research and extraordinary patient care.

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