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Nursing turns 50

Jones Present Bill Asking Money for Nursing School

Newspaper clippings mark early days of College of Nursing

The School of Nursing, now College of Nursing, began in 1960 as the first offering baccalaureate degrees in nursing in eastern North Carolina. The shortage of nurses in the area and the concern over being able to recruit graduates from other regions were the major reasons for its beginning. A dual mission of the school at its inception was to produce nurses as generalists for the health care agencies in this area and to increase the supply of nurses for the entire state.
 
There was intense opposition to the establishment of a nursing school at ECU. The opposition was much like that to a four-year medical school and came from the same sources. But hospitals in the east welcomed the idea. At the time, legislators debated using funds to buy a plane for the governor or to establish a nursing school at ECU.
 
Dr. Leo Warren Jenkins, who became president of then East Carolina College in 1960, said: “Historians who will some day tell the story will find that the secret of the transformation of a small neglected school into a major institution was, in fact, a very simple one. The secret they will find was the needs of the people.”
 
_From the writings of Eva Warren, first dean of nursing at ECU


History of the developing plans for the nursing school were reflected in The Daily Reflector newspaper. Click on the links below to download pdf copies of newspaper clippings marking the developing plans for the ECU College of Nursing.

Looking Ahead to 1959 Assembly, Aug. 15, 1958

Have to fight for nursing school, Feb. 19, 1959

Support for nursing at ECU, April 3, 1959

Jones presents bill asking for money for nursing school, n.d.

Legislators encourage school of nursing plan, n.d.

Less than one cent per Tar Heel, April 21, 1959

Now, Funds for Nursing School, May 8, 1959

Establishment of a four-year School of Nursing at East Carolina College approved, May 21, 1959

Long diligent labor is rewarded, May 22, 1959