But in Greensboro, Moses Cone Hospital was under construction and would soon need a large number of qualified nurses. The Moses Cone Hospital Board of Trustees met with the Woman’s College representatives and appointed Laura Weil Cone (alumna of Woman’s College), Mereb Mossman (Dean of Woman’s College) and Carolyn Keller (Director of Nursing at Moses Cone Hospital) to investigate the possibility of an associates degree program. After visiting the associates degree programs at Fairleigh Dickinson College and the National League of Nursing, it was decided that the Woman’s College in conjunction with Moses Cone Hospital would establish the first associates degree program in nursing education in North Carolina. This would also be one of the first twenty-eight programs in the United States.
In February 1957, WC established the Department of Nursing Education to administer the associates degree program. This program required students to spend two years at the college, followed by three months at Moses Cone Hospital. A mandatory summer session focused on Psychiatric Nursing was also spent at the John Umstead Hospital in Butner, NC. Classes for the program were held in the basement of the Gove Infirmary and the students lived on campus.
|First graduating class of the |
Department of Nursing Education, 1959
194 Associate Degrees in Nursing were awarded from 1959 through 1967. The 1960s, however, saw the rise of the community college system in North Carolina, and UNCG shifted its focus away from two-year associates programs (in addition to the associates degree in nursing, the college also offered a two-year commercial/business degree option). In 1967, the Department of Nursing Education its associate degree program were phased out when a full baccalaureate nursing school opened at UNCG.