Chesney Archives

When Mr. Johns Hopkins set forth a provision in his 1873 instructions to his trustees to establish a school of nursing in conjunction with The Johns Hopkins Hospital, university-based nursing education did not yet exist. The Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School for Nurses opened in 1889 as a hospital-based diploma school. Under the leadership of nursing superintendent Isabel Hampton Robb and her successor Mary Adelaide Nutting, the school was at the forefront of the professionalization of nursing and nursing education. Beginning in the 1920s, its alumni advocated for an affiliation with The Johns Hopkins University in order to offer degree-granting programs. Despite several attempts, they were unable to convince the hospital and university leadership to establish a fully accredited baccalaureate degree program. Because the school could not compete in an era in which university-based nursing schools were evolving, admissions gradually dropped, and the school finally closed in 1973. Read More >

As the hospital prepared to close the school of nursing, the university planned to launch a new school of allied health services which would include a baccalaureate nursing degree program. In 1975, the new nursing program began at The Johns Hopkins University School of Health Services. However, the existence of the Johns Hopkins University School of Health Services was short lived. In 1978, the trustees of the university voted that it be closed. In 1980, the Evening College of the university introduced a revised nursing program and in 1981 hired Carol J. Gray to head its nursing program. Gray conducted a feasibility study for the establishment of a university-based school of nursing. This study led to the charter for the Consortium for Nursing Education, Inc. in 1982. The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Church Home Hospital, and Sinai Hospital which funded the consortium joined The Johns University in establishing the university-based school of nursing. The consortium and the university appointed Gray as the first dean of the school. In 1983, the Maryland State Board of Examiners of Nurses approved plans for establishing the school of nursing.

In September 1984, the school admitted its first class of baccalaureate students. Within a remarkably short period, the school achieved accreditation for masters and then doctoral programs and re-established a tradition of excellence in nursing education at Johns Hopkins.  The Anne M. Pinkard Building, dedicated on June 11, 1998, serves as the main home of the school of nursing. Today, the school ranks consistently as a top graduate nursing school in the nation. Key areas of research include cardiovascular health, disease prevention and risk reduction, women’s health, aging, community and public health, and global health.

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Records of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing

Records of Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing document the founding, governance, and executive leadership of the school from its inception to today. There are records pertaining to nursing education, research, student life, as well as the school’s communications and publications.


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