Here is some of the history and the pictures of the McMaster School of Nursing.
In the mid-1930s, Constance Brewster, superintendent of nurses and director of the School of Nursing at Hamilton General Hospital (HGH), contacted Charles Burke, dean of science at McMaster University, to suggest that some of McMaster's graduates might be interested in entering nursing school after their graduation. In 1940, three graduates enrolled at the HGH School of Nursing. However, seven years of schooling (four at McMaster and three at HGH) to become a nurse was a large commitment. A joint committee sought an alternative.
The joint committee decided to test an "Arts Course and Nurse's Training" program, first offered in the 1941-1942. This was a combined course lasting five years. It included a B.A. under the direction of Charles Burke, dean of science at McMaster, and nursing training at the HGH under the direction of Constance Brewster. Three women enrolled the first year. This program ran for three years, with eight graduates.
In 1946-47, McMaster initiated a five-year program that evolved into a 4.5-year and then a 4-year program. In November 1946, led by Gladys Sharpe, the School of Nursing was accredited by the Nurses Registration Act of Ontario.
Dr. Dorothy Kergin and Dr. Walter O. Spitzer received a series of grants from the Department of National Health and Welfare for a program of research on the emerging role of nurse practitioners. This was the start of the school’s outstanding reputation for research.
The first graduate courses designed for nursing students at McMaster were part of an interdisciplinary clinical Master’s of Health Sciences, which started in 1973. It included occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and nursing. The first PhD students in nursing were admitted in September 1994, and first Master’s of Science students admitted in September 1995. The school developed two graduate level advanced practice nursing diploma programs, the Advanced Neonatal Nursing Graduate Diploma in 1986, running until 2014, and the Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Program, a nine-university provincial consortium.
In 1974, the School of Nursing became part of the newly created Faculty of Health Sciences and moved into the new McMaster University Medical Centre. This was a time of great transition for the School of Nursing. Small group, problem-based learning was introduced, influenced by the newly formed School of Medicine and School of Nursing’s existing expertise in self-directed learning. Opportunities for interprofessional education, research, and practice blossomed.
In 1979, a 23-year collaboration began with the Aga Khan University (AKU) School of Nursing in Karachi, Pakistan, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency. AKU students and faculty came to learn in Hamilton, and McMaster nursing faculty taught in Pakistan. The success of this program led to other international initiatives. In 1992, the SON was designated as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Primary Health Care and Teaching Methodologies, which continues to this day.
When a BScN became the minimum requirement for nursing registration with the College of Nurses of Ontario, an agreement for a collaborative BScN program was signed in 2000 with Mohawk and Conestoga colleges enrolling their first BScN students in 2001. The McMaster, Mohawk, Conestoga collaborative BScN program provides a fully integrated nursing curriculum leading to a BScN degree conferred by McMaster University.
A new 20-month McMaster accelerated BScN program was launched.
The School of Nursing is internationally-recognized for achievements in high-impact research, and for an esteemed legacy of research intensity across our nurse-led research units, career scientist awards, operating grants, research chairs that contribute to the development of nursing research capacity worldwide.
(Research excellence has brought significant support of prestigious research chairs.)
(The role has been the same, the title changed over the years.)