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College of Nursing

A 60-year legacy marches toward the future Since 1952, Florida State University has produced exceptional nurses ready to serve the community, state and nation. With the graduation of the College of Nursing’s 6,731st student in 2012, it is clear the 60-year Florida State nursing legacy has touched every corner of the United States. As part of the College of Nursing’s plan to expand nursing education, the college recently began to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). In 2012, 16 men and women were the first Florida State University graduates to earn this degree. In addition to the DNP program, the College of Nursing introduced a new online nurse leader track as part of its graduate program, which is designed to prepare nurses to assume higher-level practice and leadership roles within a variety of health care settings. The college has blazed a trail of achievement in nursing education, and it has demonstrated time and again that it is an incubator for innovation in the nursing field. From the year that the first students were admitted to the present class, faculty members have instilled a sense of dedication that goes to the heart of quality patient care. With nursing demands and technology changing, the college is on the cusp of another period of tremendous innovation and advancement; however, it comes at a time when the University is experiencing some of the most substantial budget cuts in state history.

Meeting the Needs of Yesteryear The nursing program at Florida State was first contemplated in 1948 when a consultant from the U.S. Public Health Service conducted a survey of nursing resources, needs and educational facilities. The study concluded there was an urgent demand for increased numbers of better prepared nursing personnel in the state of Florida, but questions remained as to how to establish the nursing program, what the curriculum would entail and where the program would be located.

dean of the College of Nursing. She served from 1950–1971, and in 2001, the college’s building was named in her honor.

Florida State President Doak Campbell knew the University was ready to assume responsibility for establishing a sound collegiate program in nursing, and in 1950, he hired Vivian M. Duxbury as the first

Marylou Wall said Duxbury and her team had foresight for the school. “Their vision was to develop women to be leaders in their field, whether that meant higher education, hospital nursing or public health nursing,”

Graduates from the college’s formative years say there has been one distinction that hasn’t diminished over time—instilling a sense of leadership. “Dean Duxbury emphasized leadership and how we needed to make a difference wherever we were and in whatever we decided to do,” Carol Hardison Rittenhouse (BSN ’64) said.

Wall (BSN ’68) said. “They gave us the experience of seeing both the clinical side and leadership side of nursing and nursing education.” Even though the College of Nursing’s students, uniforms, classrooms, clinical and simulation experiences have changed throughout the years, the college has continued its legacy of excellence and leadership. Across the decades, its alumni have gone on to achieve great things that reflect positively on the nursing profession, Florida State University and the College of Nursing. One thing that has remained constant, however, is the need for private support, which is more critical than ever before.

Dr. Susan B. Hassmiller (BSN ’77, MS ’79), the college’s 2011 Distinguished Graduate, was a recipient of the President’s Award presented by the National League of Nursing in August 2012 because of her role as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Senior Adviser for Nursing and the director of the Robert Wood Johnson Initiative on the Future of Nursing at the Institute of Medicine. Embracing the leadership skills instilled during her years at Florida State’s College of Nursing, Hassmiller is shaping and leading the Foundation’s strategies to address the nation’s nursing and nursing faculty shortages in an effort to create a higher quality of patient care.

Meeting the Needs of Today Past support for the college has allowed nursing students to continue their studies and not be hindered by financial demands. It also has assisted faculty members in their development as educational leaders. And, it has provided resources for capital improvement projects. But it is the support received today that will truly allow the college to continue as a program that makes history. Florida State’s College of Nursing students experience nursing through learning in active classroom settings, in a high technology simulation laboratory, in clinical agencies across the state and

in international experiences. Nursing careers are built on a strong educational foundation as well as an understanding of vulnerabilities and the human condition. As part of its rich heritage of community outreach and helping vulnerable and underserved populations, the College of Nursing, in collaboration with a team of health care providers, initiated

the delivery of primary health care services to underserved children in Havana (Gadsden County), Fla. The citizens of Havana have limited access to care and a large number of Havana’s citizens are uninsured. Future plans are to expand the scope of services available to underserved children and adults and increase clinical opportunities for student experiences and faculty practice in Havana. These types of outreach efforts are demonstrated repeatedly by nursing students on smaller scales and in faraway lands, but few of them would occur if not for the generosity of alumni and friends of the college.

Meeting the Needs of the Future

The college offers an array of programs, from a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) that enrolled its first students in 2009, with several degree options in between. All of the programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and the college continues to

maintain pass rates of 93 percent or higher on national licensing examinations. These programs are designed to create leaders in the field of nursing who are passionate about nursing education and who have a desire to impact the lives of the patients they will one day serve.

The College of Nursing is committed to preparing individuals to embrace myriad opportunities—ensuring the highest quality health care possible from outstanding nurse leaders; your support can help make this a reality.

Bethany Gill Traditional BSN Class of 2013

The new Health and Wellness Center is located near Duxbury Hall.

Build Your Legacy The college’s on-campus classroom space recently tripled with the addition of five state-of-the-art classrooms in the new Health and Wellness Center located near Duxbury Hall. The new building expands clinical opportunities for Doctor of Nursing Practice students and Family Nurse Practitioner faculty to provide primary health care to students on campus. Undergraduate students will have increased opportunities to participate in on-campus health promotion activities housed in the new building. A suite in Duxbury Hall is being converted to a space dedicated to fostering nursing research and evidence-based practice. These new facilities offer alumni and college supporters the opportunity to continue the legacy with naming or endowment opportunities.

Among the naming opportunities are:  College of Nursing .............................................from $5 million  College of Nursing Simulation Center ............. from $1 million  College of Nursing Skills Lab ........................... from $250,000  College of Nursing Archives............................. from $100,000  College of Nursing Board Room ...................... from $100,000  College of Nursing Health Assessment Lab ... from $100,000  College of Nursing Student Computer Labs .. from $100,000  College of Nursing .............................................. from $50,000 Simulation Center (individual rooms) There also are opportunities to support the college’s students and faculty. Gifts of $1 million will endow a chair; $250,000 will endow a graduate fellowship; $100,000 will endow a professorship and $25,000 will endow a scholarship. Contributions to the Annual Giving campaign will support student scholarships, educational innovations, facility upgrades and research activities.

To learn more about how you can support your passion and positively impact the College of Nursing, visit or contact: Colette Podgorski Director of Development (850) 228-8536

College of Nursing Giving Brochure  

Over of the College of Nursing's history, programs, and fundraising priorities.

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