School of Nursing recommended for college status

September 19, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s Board of Trustees Committee on Academic Affairs and Student Life today (Sept. 19) recommended for approval a proposal to grant college status to the School of Nursing. The motion still requires approval from the full Board of Trustees at Friday's meeting. If the board approves the request, the School of Nursing will be renamed the College of Nursing, effective immediately.

This change recognizes that the College of Nursing has become an independent academic unit with an organizational structure consistent with other colleges at Penn State. The college has demonstrated academic excellence, achieved considerable growth in its graduate programs and research productivity, and demonstrated an ongoing commitment to outreach. Over the last five years, the college also has become financially independent from the College of Health and Human Development.

“This change is a logical step in our development that creates visibility and brings clarity to our structure within the University system,” Paula Milone-Nuzzo, dean of the College of Nursing, said. “It also improves our status among nursing schools nationally, which will help our efforts to recruit exceptional faculty and students.”

The proposal was endorsed by the University Faculty Senate Council on Aug. 20.

From 1989 to 2008, the School of Nursing was one of nine academic units in the College of Health and Human Development. To advance its role in Penn State’s health sciences mission, in 2008 the school became an independent academic unit while maintaining a close collaboration with the college. Milone-Nuzzo was named the inaugural dean.

The college offers associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs to more than 2,700 students annually at 13 Penn State campuses, preparing more students for nursing careers each year than any other program in Pennsylvania. This includes an extensive offering of outreach programs, including a fully online RN to B.S. program, two online master’s degree options, and continuing education for nursing professionals.

The college has consciously invested in its research infrastructure and developed a research-intensive learning environment. Its faculty have advanced the science of nursing through funded research grants. In 2011, the college ranked 17th nationwide in National Institutes of Health research dollars awarded to schools of nursing, its highest ranking ever.

The College of Nursing’s mission is to improve the health of all people in Pennsylvania, the nation and the world by developing qualified nurse leaders at all levels of practice, developing nursing science related to health and health care, and providing nursing care to individuals, families and communities. The college works to fulfill that mission through integrated programs of nursing education, research, scholarship and outreach.

Last Updated September 19, 2013