The nursing program at Purdue University began in fall 1963. Thirty nursing students were admitted to a two-year associate degree program on the West Lafayette campus.
Helen R. Johnson, a registered nurse with a strong administrative background, initiated and directed the program. In 1970, an upper-division, four-year baccalaureate program was introduced to fulfill the career mobility needs of associate-degree or diploma nurses who wished to earn baccalaureate degrees.
Initially, the nursing program was administered through the Department of Applied and General Studies in the Division of Applied Technology.
Recognizing the strong academic program of professional preparation and the growing number of nursing students, the Board of Trustees created the School of Nursing in 1979. The School was placed into the newly created administrative unit, the Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Health Sciences. In 2004 this was renamed to the College of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Health Sciences. On July 1, 2010, the School of Nursing became part of the newly-created College of Health and Human Sciences.
The growth in enrollment in the nursing program has been rapid. Today, 550 undergraduate students are enrolled on the West Lafayette campus. In addition, about 50 students are enrolled in the master's and doctor of nursing practice graduate programs.
Johnson Hall of Nursing houses classrooms, conference rooms, administrative and faculty offices, the Center for Nursing Education and Simulation, and the Center for Nursing History, Ethics, Human Rights, and Innovations. The Nursing Center for Family Health (in Johnson Hall) provides student learning experiences in health screening, counseling, health promotion, and client education. Students are also offered opportunities to interact with a diverse, rural community through the Family Health Clinic of Carroll County in Delphi and the Family Health Clinic of Monon.
The baccalaureate, master's and DNP programs at Purdue University School of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791.