Timeline

1930s-40s

Villanova Bachelor of Science degree awarded to RNs through the Division of Nursing, College of Arts and Sciences, at Hallahan High School

1951

Sister M. Alma Lawler, RSM and Sister M. Margarella O’Neill, OSF appointed co-directors to develop Division of Nursing.

Sister Mary Alma Lawler, RSM, RN, MA (right)  and Sister Mary Margarella O’Neill, OSF, RN, MS (left) were appointed co-directors to develop Division of Nursing.

[In 1956, Sr. Margarella was recalled by her order to earn her PhD at Catholic University of America; she later served as President of then Neumann College from 1983 to 1989.

In 1960, Sr. Alma left her position as administrator of the program when Dean Schrum arrived.]  

1953

Generic baccalaureate program in nursing for high school graduates started. First ten nursing students are admitted initiating the education of full-time undergraduate women on the campus.

Generic baccalaureate program in nursing for high school graduates started. First ten nursing students are admitted initiating the education of full-time undergraduate women on the campus.

First female resident students are housed in Franciscan House of Studies, affectionately called “The Convent.”

1957

Timeline

Nursing program receives initial accreditation from National League for Nursing.
First six students graduate from the College of Nursing and awarded the BSN degree.

1960

Timeline

Marion M Schrum, EdD, RN, becomes first dean of the College of Nursing. She served till 1968.
College of Nursing moves to St. Clare Hall.

1966

Installation of Alpha Nu as the 35th chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, nursing’s honor society.

1968

Dorothy R. Marlow, EdD, RN, becomes second dean of the College of Nursing.  College of Nursing students reside in first residence hall for women on campus, Good Counsel Hall, called “New Dorm.”

Dorothy R. Marlow, EdD, RN, becomes second dean of the College of Nursing. (She had previously served as Assistant Dean since her arival in 1965. During her sabbatical in the 1971-72 academic year, Mrs. Julia Boland Paparella served as Acting Dean. Dr. Marlow stepped down in 1976, at which time Mrs. Evelyn Behanna served as Acting Dean until Dr. Fitzpatrick arrived in January 1978.)

College of Nursing students reside in first residence hall for women on campus, Good Counsel Hall, called “New Dorm.”

College of Nursing expands to St. Clare Annex (now Stone Hall).

1972

College of Nursing moves to St. Mary Hall.

College of Nursing moves to St. Mary Hall.

1978

M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN (photo) becomes third dean of the College of Nursing.

M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN (photo) becomes third dean of the College of Nursing.
Margaret McClure, EdD, RN, FAAN is the first speaker at the Distinguished Lectureship in Nursing, initiated at College’s 25th Anniversary celebration.

1979

Program in Continuing Education for Nursing and Health Care established with federal funds under the direction of Assistant Dean Dr. Barbara Heller.

1980

Master’s Program in Nursing approved and developed with partial grant from the U.S. Public Health Service. Joan T. Large, EdD, RN is first director.
Villanova University awards first Presidential Scholarship to a nursing student – Mary Alice Rice, BSN ’84.

1982

First students graduate from MSN program.
First College of Nursing Medallion awarded to Ellen Cooper, BSN ’82.

1983

Master’s Program receives initial accreditation from National League for Nursing.

1984

Continuing Education Program receives initial accreditation from American Nurses Association.
Sandra Myers, BSN ’85, is first Villanova nursing student elected President of Student Nurses’ Association of Pennsylvania.

1985

Nursing Alumni Society founded.

1987

Cynthia Rich, BSN ’89 elected President of National Student Nurses’ Association.

Community health administration component in Graduate Program established with a federal grant.
Cynthia Rich, BSN ’89 elected President of National Student Nurses’ Association.

1990

First College of Nursing Mass and Alumni Medallion Ceremony held in St. Mary Chapel.
Two-year continuing grant awarded by Federal Government for continued support of community health component of Graduate Nursing Program; continuing accreditation by the National League for Nursing.

1992

Opportunity for nursing students to study abroad through affiliation with Kings College, London, England. Michelle McInerney, BSN ’95, is the first to take part.
First international students enroll in MSN program from Jordan and the Palestinian West Bank.

1993

Grant awarded by Division of Nursing of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for initiation of Case Management option in MSN program.
The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies provides support to establish Health and Human Values lecture series.
First student from the People’s Republic of China begins Master’s program.
First students from the Sultanate of Oman begin Master’s program.
College of Nursing conducts first summer institute for Japanese nursing students.

1995

College of Nursing conducts summer institute for Korean nurses.

College of Nursing conducts summer institute for Korean nurses.
College of Nursing co-sponsors 4th Middle East nursing conference in Irbid, Jordan with University of Windsor, Ontario and Jordan University of Science and Technology.
Students from Jordan, Oman, Lebanon, Peoples Republic of China, Botswana, and Taiwan are evidence of the College's appeal internationally.
College of Nursing becomes collaborating center for Operation Smile International.

1996

First nurse practitioner program established in Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner studies.

1997

First Distance Learning initiative developed in the College.
Three-year federal grant establishes Nurse Anesthesia component in Graduate Program.

1998

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner option established in Graduate Program.
Students begin practicing health promotion at the Augustinian mission in Chulucanas, Peru.
College of Nursing receives three-year grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation for Health Promotion for Women with Disabilities Project.

1999

First twenty RN students from Oman complete their BSN degrees at Villanova.
College of Nursing co-sponsors first International Nursing Conference in Beirut, Lebanon with University of Michigan and American University of Beirut.
Graduate option in Health Care Administration, in collaboration with College of Commerce and Finance (presently, the Villanova School of Business), enrolls its first students.
Villanova nursing student, Jenny Yost, BSN ’00 elected President of Student Nurses’ Association of Pennsylvania.
Four Villanova nursing students spend their sophomore year of study at the University of Manchester in England.
Geriatric Nurse Practitioner option established in Graduate Program.

2000

College of Nursing granted preferred status by U.S. Army ROTC – the only non-host school in country to gain this designation.
Continuing accreditation by the National League for Nursing. Initial accreditation granted by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education for Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree Programs in Nursing.

2001

College of Nursing increases use of electronic teaching models.
College of Nursing receives extension of grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation for Health Promotion for Women with Disabilities Project.

2002

Establishment of Doctoral Program in Nursing approved, pending funding, by University Board of Trustees.

2003

The Connelly Foundation announced an endowment of $4,000,000 to the College of Nursing on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary which was celebrated on April 26, 2003. This gift established an endowed deanship in the College of Nursing and provides resources for program and faculty development, technology related to nursing studies and Connelly-Delouvrier scholarships to help support nursing students with international and multi-cultural learning experiences.
Fourteen-month second degree program option, BSNExpress, admits first students.

2004

Inaugural class of 12 doctoral students begins the new PhD in Nursing program on June 1, 2004.
College of Nursing is one of only three schools in the nation to receive the new designation 'Center of Excellence in Nursing Education' from the National League for Nursing on October 1st.

2005

College of Nursing co-sponsors international scientific nursing conference in Beirut, Lebanon with American University of Beirut and the University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania and University of California, San Francisco.
Graduate Nursing Program celebrates its 25th anniversary during the 2005-2006 academic year.

2006

Graduate Nursing Program celebrates the 10th anniversary of its Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner track during the 2006-2007 academic year.

New Center for Nursing Research established.

Site for new College of Nursing building announced in June by University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA. Building will be constructed on central campus on former softball field next to Health Services Building and behind Sullivan Hall.

2007

Construction started on new building site on March 1.

Construction started on new building site on March 1.
The College's inaugural Board of Consultors convenes March 24.
Re-designation as NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education

2008

Dean Fitzpatrick celebrated for her 30 years of leadership at the College of Nursing.
Bonnie Baloga-Altieri, a member of the inaugural doctoral class, becomes first to graduate with PhD.
Faculty and staff move into new building, Driscoll Hall, on July 30, 2008. Dedication of Driscoll Hall was held on October 6, 2008.

2009

In September, the College of Nursing received approval from the State Board of Nursing to add a Family Nurse Practitioner option to its MSN and post-master's certificate offerings in the Graduate Nursing Program.

2010

In March, the College of Nursing inaugurated its Center for Global and Public Health.

2011

The College launched a project for Saudi Arabian nurses to earn their BSN degree.

MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education established.

College of Nursing designated a Stellar School by the National Student Nurses' Association.

2012

First cohort  for the new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program starts.

2013

College announces its first endowed faculty chair. The Diane L. & Robert F. Moritz, Jr. Endowed Chair in Nursing Rsearch in the Villanova College of Nursing established April 2013 through the generosity of Diane L. & Robert F. Moritz, Jr. DDS '51 VSB. Professor Helene Moriarty, PhD, RN is the inaugural appointee to the chair.

Online RN to BSN program option launched through villanovau.com.

2016

On March 30th, Christina Reilly Whitehouse ’04 BSN, ’16 PhD, AGPCNP-BC, CDE successfully defended her dissertation “From Hospital to Home: Aiding in Patient Transitions Through Education for Obese Older Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus” to become our 50th PhD.

In May, the DNP program  received full accreditation without recommendations from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Patrick Smith '16 BSN, the College's first male Presidential Scholar, was named a Fulbright Scholar and traveled to the Kingdom of Lesotho to study "Community Understanding and Perceptions of Lesotho’s National Health Reform."

 

2017

Dean Fitzpatrick

On September 1st, M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN, the long-time Connelly Endowed Dean of Villanova University’s College of Nursing, passed away peacefully following a nearly three-year battle with cancer. Dean of Villanova’s College of Nursing since 1978, Dr. Fitzpatrick was instrumental in the College becoming one of the nation’s premier nursing programs. For her leadership, Villanova bestowed upon her an honorary degree in 2015.

 

Center of Excellence logo

On September 16th in San Diego at the National League for Nursing's (NLN) 2017 Education Summit, the College of Nursing was once again honored as a Center of Excellence (COE) in Nursing Education, a designation from the NLN that it has held continuously since being one of three inaugural COE schools in 2004. This year, the College is a continuing designee in the category Creating Environments that Advance the Science of Nursing Education.

Dr. Perry

On September 18th, Lesley A. Perry, PhD, RN was named Interim Dean of the College of Nursing.  

Dean Fitzpatrick

On December 13th, Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, announced the naming of the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, honoring the college’s visionary dean, who passed away in September. Villanova’s College of Nursing developed into a premier nursing program during Dr. Fitzpatrick’s tenure and was recognized repeatedly by the National League for Nursing as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN was instrumental in the College becoming one of the nation’s premier nursing programs.

“Louise Fitzpatrick will be remembered as one of the most vibrant, transformative leaders in the history of Villanova, and I can think of no more fitting an honor than to name our College of Nursing after her,” said Father Donohue. “Dean Fitzpatrick was a visionary who embodied the spirit of what it means to be a Villanova nurse and a true Villanovan. Her leadership set a course of greatness for the College of Nursing and our University—and through this naming, we are ensuring that such vision and excellence continues to be a hallmark of the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing.”

 

2018

 

 

Fitzpatrick College of Nursing logo

On January 16, 2018 the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing celebrated the 40th anniversary of the late Dean M. Louise Fitzpatrick assuming the leadership of the college. The new logos for the college were unveiled.

On February 8, Villanova University announced a $5 million commitment from alumna Deborah “Dee” Silvers Adams ’86 FCN and her husband, Nick, that provides anchor support for the naming of the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. It is the largest philanthropic commitment in the history of Villanova Nursing.

 

 

On April 7, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing is dedicated by University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, following the College's 29th Annual Mass. A new monument sign is installed outside the doors of Driscoll Hall  

 

During the College's 29th Annual Mass, its newly inaugurated and most presigious award - the M. Louise Fitzpatrick Award for Transformative Leadership - is given to Mary Duffin Naylor '71 BSN, PhD, RN, FAAN. She is Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology and Director of the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and a member of the Villanova University Board of Trustees.  

Following the Mass and Dedication, the portrait of the late M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN was unveiled. It was painted by Philadelphia artist Garth Herrick.

Professor Suzanne C. Smeltzer, EdD, RN, FAAN, director of the College's Office for Nursing Research, is announced as the inaugural holder of The Richard and Marianne Kreider Endowed Professorship in the Nursing of Vulnerable Populations. She has worked for decades to address the health issues of people with disabilities through education, research, and advocacy.

Dean Havens

Donna Sullivan Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN was announced on June 4 as the new Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor of the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, effective June 30. Her appointment was the result of a national search.

Dean Havens is a Villanova alumna, having earned her MSN in nursing education in 1983 from the University.  She completed postdoctoral study at the University of Pennsylvania in the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, and she earned her PhD at the University of Maryland, and her BS in Nursing at Cedar Crest College.

As dean of the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, Dr. Havens will serve as the chief administrator of the College, leading its strategic and academic planning, faculty scholarship, teaching and service; strengthening the student experience; promoting clinical and community partnerships; providing financial oversight; and overseeing fundraising and alumni relations.