Tuskegee Institute Training School of Nurses was registered with the State Board of Nursing in Alabama in September 1892 under the auspices of the John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital to give instruction to young men and women of color who desired to learn the art of caring for the sick. The increasing demand for trained nurses in the South necessitated the establishment of a regular three-year diploma program for nurses at Tuskegee Institute in 1908, thereby enabling curricular courses offered to carry Institute course designations and credits.
The Alabama State Board of Examiners in its report dated May 19, 1947, included commendation on the progress of the School of Nursing. In 1948, the School began its baccalaureate program leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. This program has the distinction of being the first Baccalaureate program in the State of Alabama. The nursing program also holds the distinction of being one of the oldest baccalaureate programs at a historically Black institution in continuous operation in the nation today. In 1949, based on a survey and written report submitted by the School, the Tuskegee Institute School of Nursing was classified in the upper twenty-five percent of all basic nursing programs in the United States. The three-year diploma program was subsequently phased out, and the last student graduated in 1953.
When the National Collegiate Board of Accreditors met in April of 1957, the nursing program was given full accreditation by the Collegiate Board of Nursing Review, National Nursing Accrediting Service. The nursing program holds accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326, and is approved by the Alabama State Board of Nursing, RSA Plaza Suite 250, 770 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, Alabama 36130.
The program of study includes general, liberal arts and professional courses. Student experiences are offered in selective hospitals, nursing homes, community health agencies, health centers, and a variety of other relevant health related agencies. Clinical facilities are located in areas remote to Tuskegee University.
Since its inception 118 years ago, nursing alumni are practitioners contributing to the excellence of health care throughout the world. The contributions of the School’s alumni to the profession of nursing and health care are too numerous to cite. However, Tuskegee regards with considerable pride the five graduates of the Tuskegee institute Nurses’ Training School who served with valor on the campus during the Spanish American War. They were the only Black nurses employed by the United States Government during that time.
In 1965, the United States Bureau of Health Resources Development donated a grant of $427,000.00, which enabled the Institute, by providing matching funds, to erect a modern building with more than 27,000 square feet of space, which the nursing program has occupied since June 1968. The nursing building, Basil O’Connor Hall, serves as a memorial to the philanthropic, former Tuskegee Institute Board of Trustee member, Basil O’Connor.
Fall 1996, the School of Nursing and Allied Health and the School of Veterinary Medicine were joined to form the College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health, one of five (5) Colleges within the University. The School of Nursing and Allied Health, Department of Nursing, continues to evoke its proud history through constantly seeking and implementing, those activities, which assure a nursing program of the highest quality.