100th Anniversary Celebration

A Century Of Academic Nursing Excellence: Transforming The Future

In celebration of the UNMC College of Nursing Centennial, a beautiful coffee-table book has been created to showcase the history of the College. The book features historical information taken from the 1917-1987 College of Nursing book and continues through present day. Only 200 books have been printed, so don’t miss out on taking home a piece of UNMC Nursing history!
Order now!

Nursing students on stepsThe University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing, the state’s oldest publicly-supported nursing college, celebrated its 100th anniversary in October 2017.

The college, which is part of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, has a long and rich history. Since its first class began with 13 women on Oct. 16, 1917, in the "University of Nebraska School for Nurses," more than 14,500 students have graduated.

With 1,135 students currently enrolled, it is the largest nursing program in the state with five campuses -- Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney, Scottsbluff and Norfolk.

The theme for the yearlong celebration is "A Century of Academic Nursing Excellence: Transforming the Future." The celebration is recognized as an official event of the 2017 Nebraska Sesquicentennial.

The college’s 100th anniversary planning committee promoted the centennial during various recurring activities throughout the year. A gala was held to coincide with its alumni reunion, which will include recognition of extraordinary alumni. The committee published an updated history book. Private funds covered the costs.

“Our 100th year is a special milestone for the college, as well as alums, and our partners across the state,” said Juliann Sebastian, Ph.D., dean of the UNMC College of Nursing. “Our graduates have made immeasurable contributions to the quality of life of Nebraskans. With a mission of education, research and outreach, our faculty, staff and students have been at the forefront of the evolution of the profession of nursing across Nebraska, the U.S. and the world.”

Amy Thimm, president of the college’s alumni engagement council and 1991 graduate of the bachelor’s degree in nursing program, said she hopes alumni and supporters of the college will attend the gala, which will be held during reunion weekend. “This is a great opportunity to celebrate our history and connect in a fun and festive way,” Thimm said.

The 100th anniversary committee was led by Audrey Nelson, Ph.D., a UNMC associate professor of nursing, curator of the college’s history museum, and graduate of the college.

Through history, UNMC has led the way with programs to prepare nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse scientists and faculty. The college started Nebraska’s first doctoral nursing program in 1989 and the state’s first nurse practitioner program in 1992. Faculty adopted the use of technology early on so citizens across Nebraska could access its programs.

In the 1950s, the school offered a bachelor’s degree program, which was rare at the time. It also offered a three-year nursing diploma program.