The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.


At the beginning of the period 1940-71, a new Director of Nursing came to The University of Michigan from the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. Rhoda Reddig-Russell has served as the administrator of nursing throughout the subsequent 30 years. During this time nursing education at Michigan has emerged from a training school to full academic status as an autonomous school of the University and has earned national recognition.

On its Golden Anniversary in 1941 Michigan could point with pride to the education of over 1,600 graduate nurses. The same year the Board of Regents created the Faculty of the School of Nursing. The Director's title was changed to "Professor of Nursing, Director of the School of Nursing, and Director of Nursing Service, University Hospital." The name of the School was changed to The University of Michigan School of Nursing. To be admitted students must be from the upper third of their high school graduating class.

In 1943 the United States Cadet Corps was organized and the School of Nursing participated in this program for the duration of its existence.

In 1944 the program in letters and nursing was discontinued and a new degree program was initiated requiring completion of two years in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan, or in another college, followed by three years in the Page  218School of Nursing and leading to the degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

In 1952 a more extensive revision of the curriculum was instituted. At this time the three-year diploma program and the five-year degree program, which had operated concurrently, were both discontinued and a four-year program — three calendar years and one academic year — was established, leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

In 1955 Rhoda Reddig was appointed as the first Dean of the School of Nursing, which until then had been operating under the direction of an administrative committee, with Hospital, Medical School, and Nursing School representatives.

Having outgrown its administrative offices in Couzens Hall, in 1958 the School of Nursing moved to spacious quarters in the new School of Nursing Building adjacent to the newly completed Medical Science I Building.

In 1961 six students were admitted to the four-semester graduate program in psychiatric nursing developed by a committee chaired by Professor Edith Morgan. The program, offered through the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, has had continuous funding from The National Institute of Mental Health. Greater depth of understanding in the behavioral and medical sciences serves as the background for psychiatric nursing practice. As of May 1971, 45 students have completed the graduate program, receiving the degree Master of Science.

In 1962 the School of Nursing, through the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, initiated the first graduate program in the United States to prepare clinical nursing specialists in medical-surgical nursing. The study committee was chaired by Professor R. Faye McCain, who has directed the program since its inception. This program was funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation for the first six years of its operation.

The four-term program, leading to the degree Master of Science, has three major components: clinical nursing; research; cognates. The advanced study of clinical nursing is culminated by a one-term practicum where each student develops expertise in a selected area of medical-surgical nursing. Seventy-one students have graduated from the program. Approximately half of the graduates are employed in nursing service positions, while the other Page  219half are teaching in the various types of nursing programs.

The four-year basic baccalaureate program received full accreditation from the National League for Nursing in 1963. This was the first time the program was accredited as preparation for first-level positions in public health. The master's programs in Medical-Surgical and Psychiatric Nursing were also fully accredited at this time.

By 1965 the School had grown from the original enrollment of six students in 1891 to a total of 765 students in the baccalaureate program, 26 full-time and 3 part-time students in the graduate program, and 75 faculty members.

1966 marked the Diamond Jubilee of nursing education at the University of Michigan. In the 75 years since the School was established, 2,622 nurses had received certificates or diplomas, and 1,628 had earned the degree B.S. in Nursing. The Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies had granted 27 Master of Science degrees, 16 with a major in Psychiatric Nursing and 11 with a major in Medical-Surgical Nursing.

In the fall of 1967 a program of continuing education for nurse practitioners was organized and directed by Geraldine Skinner under a grant from the Michigan Association for Regional Medical Programs. Continuing education for nurses was considerably extended in scope in 1969 when the W. K. Kellogg Foundation provided a grant for the establishment and operation of specialized instruction in the field of coronary care. Additional faculty were appointed, enabling the School to provide coronary care instruction in communities throughout the state.

The summer session of 1971 brought to an end the requirement of enrollment in a summer session between the freshman and sophomore year. The School's program now consisted of four academic years. In 1971, Professor Norma Marshall, Assistant Dean, assumed the responsibility for a plan that provides for the admission of registered nurses from diploma programs and associate degree programs to obtain baccalaureate degrees in nursing.

The goals of the program include an open curriculum in which it is possible to earn credit by examination. Program requirements may be met on a part-time basis with the exception of a full credit load for the final term of the senior year. The time required to complete the program Page  220is dependent upon the number of transferrable credits and the number of credits earned by examinations. Upon completion of the baccalaureate program, these registered nurses become eligible to enroll at the master's level. To provide for advanced education, continuing education, and inservice education, the School has added faculty members in the areas of continuing education, graduate education, nursing research, and has joint appointments with nursing service.

In September 1971, students studying nursing at the University numbered 1,035. Faculty positions in the School of Nursing have grown in numbers to a total of 89.

As of December 1971, 5,165 nurses have graduated at Michigan. Of these 2,622 received diplomas, 2,543 earned baccalaureate degrees, and 117 masters degrees.