This year we are joyfully celebrating our golden anniversary! In 1969, the Texas Legislature, responding to a nationwide shortage of nurses, established the UT System School of Nursing with a San Antonio school starting in borrowed office space with borrowed classrooms.
From these humble beginnings, the school’s founding dean, Margretta Styles, Ed.D., RN, FAAN, and the first four faculty members began a tradition of excellence in education, discovery and care. While nursing has greatly evolved, the core mission of the school—to discover and translate nursing knowledge to improve health and health care to the next generation of nurses—has never wavered.
During the past 50 years, many changes and accomplishments have occurred. The first graduating class in May 1971 had just 13 students. In comparison, this academic year we will graduate more than 450 students. This growth will continue beyond our milestone year, as we will admit our first cohort of students into the new B.S.N. to D.N.P. program this fall. We have plans to admit students into a new Direct Entry Master’s Degree Program in the future, replacing the Accelerated B.S.N. Program. I am also proud to share that our current NCLEX passage rates are 98 percent! We have led all UT System Schools of Nursing in NCLEX passage rates over the past two years.
The School of Nursing has continued to build upon its foundation throughout the years thanks to outstanding deans: Drs. Margretta Styles, Patty L. Hawken, Janet Allan and Robin Froman. I was fortunate to join the school as dean in 2008 and deeply appreciate the path paved by these visionary leaders in service to our nursing community.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kathleen R. Stevens, Ed.D., RN, ANEF, FAAN, Berneice Castella Distinguished Professor in Aging Research. Dr. Stevens assumed the leadership role in pulling together the school’s vast and fascinating history by writing the 50th anniversary articles for this special issue. We are indebted to this Visionary Leader Award winner and longtime faculty member for her framing and writing of these stories.
Thank you for joining us as we celebrate the School of Nursing’s past and look with great hope and pride to its future.
Eileen T. Breslin l Ph.D., RN, FAAN
Dean and Professor
Dr. Patty L. Hawken Nursing Endowed Professor
School of Nursing
UT Health San Antonio