College of Nursing History

College of Nursing  > College Overview


1910 Gordon Keller School of Nursing Established

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Gordon Keller Memorial Hospital

Gordon Keller Memorial Hospital, opened in 1905 on Lafayette Street, was named for Gordon Keller, a native of Georgia who moved to Tampa in 1883. The School of Nursing, established in 1910 and offering a three-year diploma, held its first formal graduation in 1915. The program was absorbed by Hillsborough Community College in 1972; however, the archives were donated to USF, and the College of Nursing became the "home base" for alumni. The hospital, which moved to Davis Islands in 1927, became known as Tampa Municipal Hospital (shown in photo) and, in 1956, as Tampa General Hospital.


1965 USF College of Nursing Authorized by Florida Legislature

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USF GroundbreakingIn 1965, the USF College of Nursing was authorized by the Florida Legislature as part of the Health Sciences Center complex with Medicine and Public Health. Although it would be nine years before students were admitted to the program, work began on preparing the university for the eventual launch of the college.

Until the College of Nursing began admitting students, USF joined with Florida State in providing nursing degrees. Students attending USF for their first two years could then transfer to FSU to complete their bachelor's degrees in nursing. There was a similar USF/FSU collaboration with the home economics program.


1965 Dr. Alice Keefe Appointed Founding Dean

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Dean Alice KeefeDr. Alice Keefe was appointed as founding dean of the College of Nursing. Prior to her role at USF, Dr. Keefe was named State Nurse Coordinator by the Florida Nurses Association to establish nursing refresher courses in Florida. She received her bachelor's degree from the Genesee Hospital School of Nursing in Rochester, New York, and earned her master's and doctorate at New York University. She served as chief, Nursing Education and Training Division, Veterans Administration Nursing Service in Washington D.C. She also taught nursing at Park Avenue Hospital, Manhattanville College of Sacred Heart, Seton Hall, and St. John's University. She was a commissioned officer, U.S. Public Health Service, and nurse researcher for the Veterans Administration.

She and Dr. Donn Smith, who became dean of the USF College of Medicine in 1969, decided to conduct clinical instruction in local hospitals under cooperative agreements. Dr. Keefe designed the original program emphasizing styles of learning and preparing students to interact with people in different professional roles. Dean Russell Cooper, early USF historian, reported that Dr. Keefe made the USF Nursing program broader and stronger in theoretical foundations than most collegiate nursing programs, emphasizing links between practice and theory.

1968 College Accredited by Florida Board of Nursing

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Florida Board of Nursing Accreditation CertificateIn 1968, the Florida Board of Nursing provided accreditation to begin implementation of a BS in nursing. A few months later, Dr. Keefe received a personal letter from one of the board members indicating that her curriculum plan was exceptionally impressive. Admitting students, however, was still several years away.

In 1969, the National League for Nursing (NLN) also provided "reasonable assurance of accreditation." This approval allowed the admittance of students in 1971.

1973 Dr. Gwendoline MacDonald Appointed Dean

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Dean Gwendoline MacDonald

Dr. Gwendoline MacDonald served as dean of the College of Nursing from 1973 until 1987. She greeted the first cohort of students with nine faculty. Under her leadership, the college received its first accreditation from the National League for Nursing in 1975, ensuring the school was accredited prior to the first graduating class.

In 1980, she initiated master's level programs in Adult Health Nursing, Gerontology, and Nurse Education. Prior to becoming dean at USF, Dr. MacDonald was dean of nursing at Michigan State University and the University of Miami. During World War II, she served in the Army Nursing Corp and was stationed in England.


1973-1974 USF College of Nursing Hires Charter Faculty

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First faculty to begin teaching nursing students at USF:


Margaret C. Boostrum, MNEd, RN

Frieda W. Carbonell, EdD, RN

Nina Entrekin, MN, RN

Jane Fanning, MS, RN

Suzy Fletcher, MSN, RN

Helen Guiss Lucas, MSN, RN

Gwendoline R. MacDonald, EdD, RN

Barbara Mauger, BSN, RN

Jeanne Rackow, MS

Jeanette Sasmor, EdD, RN


Patricia Adams, MN, RN

Anne Grillot, BS, RN

Nancy Clark Gunter, MA, RN

Leroy Lloyd, PhD

Anne Slatter, MS, RN

Ruth R. Stiehl, MA

1973 1st Cohort Admitted

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Trailers where Nursing classes originally held

In 1973, 54 baccalaureate nursing students were selected from more than 400 applicants and admitted into the charter class at the USF College of Nursing. At the time, classes were held in five mobile classrooms, which included administrative/advising, faculty offices, two classrooms, a multi-purpose learning laboratory, a physiology class laboratory, and a nursing library. The faculty consisted of one professor, two associate professors, five assistant professors, and two instructors. There was one administrative support staff member.

Originally, admission to the program began at the freshmen level, but due to the exacting and competitive nature of admission to the college, the freshmen enrollment program was eliminated.

1975 1st Cohort Graduated

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First graduating class at USF College of NursingIn June 1975, the charter class graduated 41 students. Students were awarded baccalaureate degrees with a major in nursing. Students completed clinical hours at Tampa General Hospital, Hillsborough County Hospital, Tampa Veterans Hospital, or with one clinical affiliate. In this class, 8 percent were male and 5 percent reported ethnic diversity.

A commemorative plaque was sent to all members of the charter class from Dr. Cecil Mackey, who as university president at the time.

1975 Accreditation by National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission Granted

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Early class in trailersOnce the college had its first graduating class of baccalaureate degree nurses, accreditation by the NLNAC was officially requested and, as expected, was granted. At the time of application for accreditation, there were 13 full-time faulty and four part-time faculty. At the junior level, there were 62 students and 40 at the senior level. Additionally, there were 12 full-time and 23 part-time students. Most wanted to obtain their baccalaureate degrees, but some reported attending classes just for the intellectual stimulation they could receive.

1976 College Moved from Trailers to New Buildings in the Health Sciences Center


College of Nursing First BuildingThe college moved out of the trailers and into new "permanent" facilities on February 24, 1976. Original requests for funding a nursing building were denied; in 1972, however, appropriated funds for a College of Nursing facility was included as part of Phase II of the Medical Center. The facility was 23,748 S.F. and supported under 100 students.




1977 RN to BS Program Added

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RN to BS pinningIn 1974, the first RN students were admitted to the college as part of the "generic" program. Faculty began looking at ways to provide these students with the ability to achieve advanced standing through challenge procedures. Additionally, 28 RNs enrolled in a new program being developed in Ft. Myers. Most, however, were not interested in obtaining baccalaureate degrees. Their primary purpose in attending classes was to further their knowledge. Requests for an RN program in Sarasota and Orlando were also made of the college. In 1978, the Kellogg Foundation awarded nearly $150,000 to support an off-campus RN to BS program in Southeast Florida.

1980 MS Program Initiated

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At its May 1, 1978, meeting, the Florida Board of Regents unanimously approved the request of the University of South Florida to offer its first MS program in nursing. Faculty eligible to teach in the graduate program were required to meet one of the following criteria: 1) assistant graduate faculty -- teach courses, supervise for clinical practice because of expertise; 2) associate graduate faculty -- faculty with doctorates could assume responsibility for major graduate courses and serve on thesis committees; and 3) full graduate faculty -- doctorally prepared, with graduate education experience, could serve as chair of thesis committees.

1980 - Adult Health Nursing

1982 - Gerontological Nursing received federal funding from the department of advanced nurse training

1984 - Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

1986 - Community Health Nursing and Oncology

1988 - Family Health Nursing was added under a nurse training grant from the federal government

1980 Sigma Theta Tau Chapter Approved

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Sigma logoSigma Theta Tau, the National Honor Society of Nursing, approved a petition for a local USF chapter identified as the Delta Beta chapter and eventually went on to include University of Tampa nursing students. The installation ceremony was held on January 27, 1980.




1981 Master's Program Graduates First 8 Students

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Master's degree students were all expected to complete a thesis before graduating. Due to the limited number of faculty qualified for this responsibility, the thesis load was heavy for graduate faculty. One faculty member reported chairing 50 theses during her career.

1983 NLN Grants Initial Accreditation to MS Program

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NLN accreditation was granted after successful graduation of master's-prepared students. The program initially began with 16 students in 1980, but by 1983 there were 140 students.

1987 Dr. Judith Plawecki Appointed Dean

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Dean Judith PlaweckiDr. Plawecki served as dean of the USF College of Nursing from 1987 to 1995. She had previously served as dean at Lewis University and University of North Dakota. During her time as dean, Dr. Plawecki was very involved in various Florida state task forces that were instrumental in nursing education and nursing manpower. Dr. Plawecki was an active member of the National League for Nursing and served in several elected positions and as an accreditation site visitor from 1979 to 1992. She received her doctorate in educational administration from the University of Iowa.





1990 Office of Nursing Research Established

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College research facultyDr. Plawecki established the Office of Research in 1990. This was the first time the College of Nursing began providing support for faculty research. In June 1993, President Bill Clinton authorized establishment of National Institute of Nursing Research, replacing the National Center for Nursing Research. This action recognized that nursing had moved into the research arena with other disciplines.


1991 Student Nurses Work with Prevent Blindness

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Student with childIn partnership with Prevent Blindness Florida, the USF Chapter of the Florida Nursing Student Association (FNSA) developed a screening program to detect poor vision and amblyopia. Students examined the eyes of hundreds of preschoolers in Hillsborough County. The program was adopted as a statewide project by FNSA, and USF students and faculty wrote a training manual that was utilized nationally by Prevent Blindness.



1991 Center for Elder Health Established

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The college's Center for Elder Health provided an educational model to prepare nurses in health promotion and preventive care. The opening of the center was a collaborative effort of the college, the state Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, the Tampa Housing Authority and the Hillsborough County Health Department.

1993 100% NCLEX Pass Rate Achieved

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NCLEX logoThis was the first time in USF College of Nursing's history that all first-time test takers passed the National Counsel Licensure Examination (NCLEX). All nurses must pass this exam before becoming practicing RNs.


1995 Judeo-Christian Health Clinic Founded

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Judeo-Christian Health clinicThe nurse-managed clinic at Judeo-Christian Health Clinic was initiated in conjunction with the public-sector medicine program of the College of Medicine's Department of Family Medicine; the clinic, funded by $1.7 million agreement between the College and Sarasota Memorial Hospital, prepared nurses for practicing in managed-care environments.


1996 PhD Program Approved

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First PhD studentsThe Florida State Board of Regents approved the planning for the initiation of the College's PhD program. At the time, this was one of only three nursing PhD programs in the state of Florida. The charter class of PhD students that enrolled in 1997 included: Maria Abrams, Adrienne Berarducci, Suzanne Collins, Nancy Frizzell, Betty Mayer, Huey Chen, Ginny Conley. Dr. Linda Moody served as program director.



1996 College Receives First Endowed Chair

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Leona Hughes and guestsDr. Lewis Hughes was one of the earliest members of the board of directors of the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Foundation, now known as the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation. Through the foundation, his wife, Mrs. Leona Hughes endowed the Lewis and Leona Hughes Chair in Nursing Informatics at the University of South Florida, a unique program enabling registered nurses to complete bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in nursing, and building a partnership between Sarasota Memorial Hospital and the University of South Florida. The chair was awarded to the following individuals:

  • D. Kathy Milholland, PhD, RN, 1998-1999
  • Linda E. Moody, PhD, RN, FAAN, 2002-2007
  • Meredeth A. Rowe, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN, 2011-2016

1997 Dr. Patricia Burns Appointed Dean

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Dean Patricia BurnsDr. Patricia Burns served as dean of the USF College of Nursing from 1997 to 2010. She came to USF from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo. Her research and clinical focus was on female urinary incontinence and was funded for more than $11 million. Dr. Burns was part of the team that developed a federally patented “Improved Perineometer” device.

As dean, she lobbied the state legislature to change Florida statutes limiting the number of nursing students schools could enroll each year. She received national attention for the Clinical Collaborative Initiative, a partnership with Tampa Bay area health care partners to allow students seeking a bachelor’s degree to begin their clinical training on day 1 and provide opportunities for placement following graduation. She also spearheaded the building of the state-of-the-art College of Nursing building in 2005, which tripled the size of the college facility from 25,000 to 75,000 square feet.

1998 Gordon Keller Distinguished Professorship

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Dean Burns and Gordon Keller AlumnaeAlumnae from the Gordon Keller School of Nursing contributed funds to establish the Gordon Keller Distinguished Professorship in Acute Care at USF College of Nursing. The chair was awarded to Maureen Groer, PhD, RN, FAAN, in 2006.



1998 College Begins Distance Learning

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Mary Tittle teaches distance educationThe college began teaching courses through distance learning, using multimedia technology to reach students at remote sites. Dr. Mary Tittle is shown teaching in a classroom set up to broadcast to students on other campuses.




1999 First NIH Funded Research Grant Awarded to USF College of Nursing Faculty

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Susan McMillan presents posterIn 1999 Susan McMillan, PhD, ARNP, FAAN, was awarded a $1.25 million study "A Caregiver Intervention to Improve Hospice Outcomes" funded by the National Cancer Institute/National Institute for Nursing Research. Dr. McMillan continued receiving cancer research dollars from the most prestigious cancer funding agencies, such as NIH, NINR, ACS and PCORI, until her retirement in 2018. In addition to her research career, Dr. McMillan also started the oncology nursing program at the USF College of Nursing.



1999 First PhD Students Graduate

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There were four members of the PhD charter class, listed below with their dissertation topics.

  • Adrienne Berarducci The Effects of an Osteoporosis Preventative Cognitive/Behavioral Intervention on Knowledge, Self-Efficacy, Role Strain, and Intention in Midlife Women
  • Huey-Jen Chen Trust and Managed Mental Health Care
  • Virginia Conley The Roles and Values in Caregiver Information-seeking Behavior
  • Nancy Frizzell A Study of the Knowledge, Attitude, and Beliefs Related to Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy in African American Women

2000 American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and National League of Nursing (NLN) Accreditation Earned

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In 2000, the college leadership made the decision to seek accreditation with AACN. AACN accreditation is restricted to baccalaureate, master's, and eventually Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. After 2000, NLN accreditation was discontinued, and as of 2020, the college is accredited by AACN.

2000 Endowed Professorship in Oncology Established

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Susan McMillanLyle and Beatrice Thompson created an Endowed Professorship in Oncology and Quality Care. The professorship was established in 1999 through a grant from the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Century Foundation, Inc., in recognition of Mrs. Thompson's generous support of the Sarasota Memorial Hospital, the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Century Foundation, and nursing care in the Sarasota community. The endowed professorship is responsible for establishing a state of the art clinical nursing care model to provide an environment enhancing quality of life care for persons with cancer and develop a research program that demonstrates improvement in the quality of care for these affected individuals.

The chair was awarded to Susan C. McMillan, PhD, ARNP, FAAN, from 2006 to 2018.

In 2019 Dr. Cecile Lengacher, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAPOS, was awarded the chair.


2001 The Clinical Collaborative Board Initiated

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The Clinical Collaborative model enables incoming RN students to be placed at a single hospital for the majority of their clinical training. Hospital staff preceptors work with students 1:1 under the supervision of USF nursing faculty. Upon graduation, RNs are frequently recruited by the hospitals where they completed clinical hours, reducing the orientation period usually required for new staff. Representatives from each of the participating hospitals meet on a regular basis with USF leadership to identify trends, needs, and ways to improve collaboration.

2002 BS to PhD Program Launched


Cecile LengacherIn 2002, the College of Nursing PhD program expanded to include a BS to PhD option for graduating nursing students. The program was led by Dr. Cecile Lengacher.

2002 Web-Based Instruction Initiated

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In 2001, the USF College of Nursing began offering online options to baccalaureate and master's nursing students utilizing the BlackBoard learning management system. The online program began with one instructional designer but grew to a full team. Eventually the BS to RN program and the MS Nurse Educator track moved to an entirely online format. As of 2018, the College of Nursing and the College of Public Health boast two of the largest online programs in the university.

2003 Groundbreaking Celebrated for New Building

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2003 Groundbreaking for new College buildingOne of Dean Burns' top priorities was to expand the College of Nursing building. On September 16, 2003, a groundbreaking ceremony was held, leading to the new addition finally becoming a reality.



2005 DNP Program Approved

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DNP Poster presentationIn 2005, the USF Board of Trustees approved the first DNP program in the State of Florida. Initially the DNP was a post-master's program for advanced practice nurses, but in Fall 2013, a BS to DNP program was added. A requirement for graduation is to complete an evidenced-based project. The results are showcased at an end-of-semester poster presentation for all graduating DNP students.


2006 College of Nursing New Building Dedicated

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2006 New BuildingIn May 2006, the college completed its new building and expansion project, creating a total of 77,000 square feet devoted to offices, classrooms, workrooms/kitchens, laboratories, gathering/study, and media computer facilities. The building contained one large classroom, three case method classrooms, and one traditional classroom. All classrooms were equipped with plasma screens with Smart overlay. There are six unique spaces dedicated to virtual learning, patient simulation, and nursing skills practice. The project was done in two phases, which required construction of the new facility, followed by remodeling of the existing space.

2006 George & Marian Miller Center for Virtual Learning and the Center for Advanced Nursing Opened

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George and Marian Miller established the Center for Virtual Learning through a $500,000 gift to the college. Today the center is a highly recognized center of excellence for simulation and clinical training.

2006 CRNA Program Accredited by COA

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CRNA students doing simulationsThe USF nurse anesthesia master's program was accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) and admitted its first class in 2006. In 2012, the program was incorporated into the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS), located in downtown Tampa, becoming the first CRNA program to be housed in a state-of-the-art simulation center. Beginning in 2019, the program is transitioning to a DNP program.

2007 Veterans Affairs Nursing Academy (VANA)

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James Haley VA HospitalVANA was established in 2007 as a five-year pilot program to build stronger and mutually beneficial partnerships between the VA and the USF College of Nursing. Through this program, a group of undergraduate students were selected to complete their clinical education entirely through the VA, with exceptions as necessary. USF appointed clinical and teaching faculty from the VA nursing staff to participate in VANA student learning.

2007 Students Travel to Panama for Global Health Experience

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Panama Grass Huts

USF College of Nursing undergraduate students traveled to Panama for a three-week immersion in Global Health. The group, led by Dr. Sandra Cadena, was the first of what was to become a yearly trip providing health care to Panamanians. Students were allowed to substitute this experience for Community Health. The University of South Florida had already established relationships with Panama universities, and after several visits to and from Panama, the project was established. In 2017, the group celebrated their 10th anniversary of the collaboration.

2008 CRNA Charter Class Graduates

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Sonya MalbroughThe charter class of the nurse anesthesia program graduated in 2008. Among the students, Sonya Malbrough, who subsequently enrolled in the DNP program, was awarded a grant from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Foundation for her evidence based project: Motivating a change towards Evidenced Based Practice: Best Practice for Central Line insertion for the Novice Anesthesia Provider.






2009 Nursing Research Biobehavioral Laboratory Completed

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Maureen Groer standing in new biobehavioral labA 3,042-square-foot Nursing Research Biobehavioral Laboratory was completed in May 2009. This space included state-of-the-art laboratory equipment for a tissue culture room, seven bench spots, 14 work benches, two patient examination rooms, two offices, one waiting room, and a cardiovascular measurement room.

2009 Path of Light Tradition Established

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Candlelight at pinningIn December 2009, a new tradition was added to the college's pinning ceremony: the Path of Light. As the ceremony begins, faculty and alumni lead the procession of graduating RNs while holding lighted candles and form an aisle through which the students pass. This tradition pays homage to Florence Nightingale, also known as “the Lady with the Lamp” for her nighttime rounds as she cared for soldiers during the Crimean War. Nightingale is remembered for her dedication to the welfare of her patients by tending the sick through the night, providing light and comfort where needed. These newly minted RNs are reminded they are now part of that tradition.

2010 College of Nursing Earns Highest NIH Ranking in State

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Dr. Kevin Kip, executive director of nursing research with senior faculty members attracting the most NIH awards to the College. From left to right, Dr. Susan McMillan, Dr. Cecile Lengacher and Dr. Maureen GroerFor the first time in the history of the USF College of Nursing, the college was ranked first in NIH research dollars awarded to nursing programs in the state of Florida. Out of 80 schools throughout the U.S., USF was ranked 28th with a total NIH research funding of $1.7 million. The previous year, the college had increased funding by 60 percent.



2010 College Reaccredited

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The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accreditation team reported that all standards were met with no concerns. The bachelor's and master's levels were accredited for 10 years and the DNP for five. Starting in 2020, all programs will be accredited on a 10-year cycle.

2010 Dr. Dianne Morrison-Beedy Appointed Dean

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Dean Morrison-BeedyOn April 30, Dr. Morrison-Beedy joined USF Health from the University of Rochester (New York), where she was assistant dean for research in the School of Nursing. Dr. Morrison-Beedy taught nursing for more than 25 years and boasted an extensive body of research focusing on HIV/AIDS risk reduction, especially for vulnerable adolescent girls. The Health Improvement Project for Teens (HIPTeens) has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control based on significant outcomes in reducing teen pregnancy and HIV/STI infection.

In recognition of her contribution to nursing science, in 2015 she was inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, National Academies of Practice, and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Dr. Morrison-Beedy has been awarded two Fulbrights to study and perform research in France and Scotland.


2010 $2.1 Million Grant Received for RESTORE LIVES Center

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RESTORE LIVES image of soldier and familyThe RESTORE LIVES center was established to develop and evaluate treatments to complement services to the military and their families. The center conducted five studies including Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), a method to to aid military combatants suffering from PTSD. This therapy is designed to show improvements in patients in as few as two therapy sessions. The grant for the center was awarded to Dr. Kevin Kip and administered by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and the Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center at Fort Detrick, Md.



2011 Faculty and Students Volunteer with the American Red Cross

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Student with child in PanamaCollege of Nursing faculty and students gained firsthand experience in global health issues with various populations during the sixth summer of international clinical experiences in Panama. The rural outreach provided by the USF Nursing team as part of this program is often the only health care that these populations receive all year.

In 2011, by invitation from the Panama Red Cross, four nursing faculty and 45 nursing students participated as Official Volunteers of the American Red Cross. With this official volunteer status, the USF Nursing team was able to transport approximately 400 pounds of much-needed supplies to the only children’s orphanage in Panama, reaching more than 200 children, some with developmental disabilities.

2011 Learning Living Community (LLC) for Pre-Nursing Students Established

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LLC StudentsThe pre-Nursing LLC, located in Juniper Hall, creates a unique opportunity for pre-nursing majors to live and study together. Students co-enroll in critical pre-nursing prerequisite course work, participate in special events and activities designed to introduce them to the nursing profession, and network with College of Nursing administrators, faculty, and student leaders. Students also enjoy in-hall academic advising throughout the year, as well as in-hall tutoring for selected courses. Beginning in 2017, pre-public health majors were included in the LLC.

2011 Congresswoman Castor Visits USF College of Nursing

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U.S. Representative Kathy Castor and Kevin KipDuring the visit, USF Health researchers updated U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Castor on a variety of research projects she helped get funded through Congress.

Dr. Kevin Kip from the USF College of Nursing briefed Castor about a study testing the effectiveness of accelerated resolution therapy, or ART, among veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s one of five RESTORE LIVES studies, totaling $2.1 million, aimed at helping soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan overcome psychological trauma and other health problems that come from serving in combat operations. The other studies include web-based therapies for veterans with PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury, an investigation of the extent of PTSD and high-risk behaviors associated with the condition, and a study of how women veterans cope with stress, anxiety and other symptoms of PTSD.

Rep. Castor visited the college again in 2018 and met with student veterans in the V-CARE program.

2011 Celebration Held to Empower Women Veterans

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Female member of militaryFemale Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard veterans and their families were invited to “Empowering Women Veterans: A Day of Recognition to Engage your Body, Mind and Spirit” at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) on Saturday, November 12, 2011. The event was free to female veterans and their families and included MOSI admission for first 300 with reduced admission thereafter, gift cards, vouchers for IMAX, VA benefits, pampering services, health screenings, employment opportunities, children’s activities, education and an opportunity to participate in research. The Nursing Health Initiative for Empowering Female Veterans was made possible through the RESTORE Lives grant.


2011 USF College Nursing Develops New Student Uniforms

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Dean Morrison-Beedy and students in new uniformsIn 2011, at the request of students, USF College of Nursing designed an "official" uniform for undergraduates and lab coats for all levels of students and faculty. The uniforms are branded to USF and make a statement in the community where the students are performing their clinical hours. Students and faculty had input into the design. The uniforms are comfortable, stain-resistant, and functional, while still enabling students to look professional at clinical sites.

2011 University of Stirling Collaboration Provides Global Experiences for Students

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Stephen McGhee and students at University of StirlingA global partnership agreement between USF College of Nursing and the University of Stirling (Scotland) was established to provide total immersion, both clinically and culturally, for students in both locations. USF students experienced firsthand how health care is delivered in the United Kingdom. Students learned the difference between the U.K.’s socialized health care delivery model and the private health care system in the U.S.



2012 USF College of Nursing Hosts U.S. Air Force Nurse Transition Program

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U.S. Air Force Nurses using College simulation labThe College of Nursing began hosting the U.S. Air Force “Nurse Transition Program” in the college’s high-tech Simulation Learning Lab. Active duty Air Force nurses conduct training for novice Air Force nurses to prepare them for active duty using the college’s human patient simulators.



2012 USF College of Nursing Joins Forces with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden

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First Lady Michelle Obama and military personnelUSF was one of 20 nursing colleges nationwide invited to participate in an event launching the Joining Forces initiative to support veterans and military families. Led by the American Nurses Association, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the National League for Nursing, in coordination with the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, nursing organizations and schools have committed to educating current and future nurses on how to recognize and care for veterans impacted by post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression, and other combat-related issues, in ways appropriate to each nurse’s practice setting. USF College of Nursing was recognized for its commitment to military and in particular new methods for treating PTSD.

2012 USF Nursing Sponsors National Conference on Veterans Health

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High School Color GuardIn 2012, the College of Nursing coordinated the first national conference for nurses focusing on nursing education and research designed to meet the needs of veterans, service members and their families: JOINING FORCES TO RESTORE LIVES: Nursing Education and Research in Veterans Health. The event was offered at CAMLS and featured nationally known speakers, as well as presentations/posters from nursing educators and researchers throughout the U.S. and the U.K.

2012 USF College of Nursing Develops "First-of-its-kind" RN to BS Program

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At a time when the Institute of Medicine recommended that the bachelor's degree serve as the minimum for entry to nursing practice, USF anticipated an increase in associate-prepared RNs in attaining this degree. To respond to the needs of the community and the prospective students, faculty leaders visited hospitals and clinics to conduct focus groups and interviews to determine how best to offer not only a means to a bachelor's degree, but a process that was meaningful to health care leaders and students. Ultimately, USF College of Nursing faculty designed an entirely online program that allowed students to select a particular area of interest: clinical practice, education, or leadership. Over the next few years, student enrollment in the RN to BS program increased significantly.

2013 Veteran BS Program Launched

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V-CARE logoThe USF College of Nursing was one of nine institutions across the country awarded funding by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, to create a Veterans’ Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing Program. USF’s fully funded, four-year grant for $1.25 million was the largest of the nine.

USF developed a baccalaureate program, which the College of Nursing named Creating Access to Registered Nurse Education for Veterans, or V-CARE. The program facilitates a more efficient pathway from veteran, to student, to career nursing professional, awarding credit for previous military training and service.

The inaugural cohort of the VBSN students graduated in Fall 2015 after completing a rigorous 16 month-long program.

2014 USF-HCC Concurrent Bachelor's Degree in Nursing Established

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HCC logoUSF College of Nursing partnered with Hillsborough Community College (HCC) to offer a concurrent bachelor’s degree in nursing. This was a first-of-its-kind partnership between USF and HCC. The partnership allows students to simultaneously enroll in HCC’s associate degree in nursing (ASN) and USF College of Nursing’s bachelor’s degree in nursing (BS). Qualified students are able to complete both an ASN and BS in an accelerated manner from USF and HCC.


2014 USF College of Nursing Named Number 1 Veteran-Friendly Nursing School

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Military studentsMilitary Times ranked the USF College of Nursing as the number 1 veteran-friendly school based on a series of survey-based rankings, such as affordability, veteran population, and commitment to veteran-related programs. The publication also noted V-CARE, the specific nursing program for veterans trained as medics. To increase collaboration across several military-focused projects, the college implemented the Research and Education to Rehabilitate and Restore the Lives of Veterans (RESTORE LIVES) initiative. To encourage a military-friendly culture, the college designed Challenge coins to recognize college and community members for their military service. A military liaison was also appointed to enhance partnerships with organizations serving veterans and those on active duty.

2014 Nursing Students Travel to St. Croix for Global Community Health Experience

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Children and student in St. Croix making Bull signUSF College of Nursing students traveled to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, to complete their global community health experience. Students spent two weeks on the island making a difference in the local community through various health services. Students taught middle school students, attended a community health fair for seniors, and worked day and evening shifts in a local hospital emergency room, a prenatal clinic, a nursing home, and other locations. Students also gave a “Healthy Snacking” presentation for about 30 residents at the Lutheran Services in St. Croix. In addition, they presented on reproductive health and puberty to a large group of middle school students.

2015 USF Nursing Graduate Program Ranked Among Nation's Best

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The College of Nursing's graduate program was U.S. News & World Report's highest ranked graduate program in the state of Florida, moving to number 38 from a previous ranking of 64. U.S. News surveyed from the 500 accredited nursing schools with master's programs. This ranking appeared in U.S. News & World Report's 2015 online edition of America's Best Graduate Schools.

2015 USF Nursing Opens Free Clinic - CARE Tampa Bay - for Patients with Chronic Health Conditions

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Connie Visovsky (left), and Cindy Tofthagen (right)The clinic, under the leadership of College of Nursing faculty provided education and support for people suffering with heart disease, cancer and neuropathy. CARE Tampa Bay’s mission was to offer educational and supportive care needs for people with chronic health conditions. The goal was to improve communication among patients, families and health care providers, provide assistance with symptom management, connect them with appropriate resources to manage their illness, and provide education and supportive care services — ultimately improving their health and overall quality of life.

2017 Dr. Victoria Rich Appointed Dean

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Dean Victoria RichOn June 15, Victoria L. Rich, PhD, RN, FAAN, began her new role as dean of the USF College of Nursing. Prior to joining USF, Dean Rich served as chief nurse executive and associate hospital administrator for the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and associate professor of nursing administration at the University of Pennsylvania Health System's School of Nursing. Dr. Rich earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her master's degree and PhD in nursing administration at the University of Pittsburgh.

She has received the Prism Diversity Award from the American Organization of Nurse Executives and the Patient Safety Award from Voluntary Hospital Association (now Vizient). Dr. Rich is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and an ambassador for the National Institute of Nursing Research. She is also a member of the Patient Safety Committee for National Quality Forum and Consultant for CNO Solutions and Center for Applied Research.

2017 Suncoast Nursing Accelerated Pathway Established

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A University of South Florida College of Nursing partnership with USF St. Petersburg (USFSP) and USF Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) allows eligible students to complete two Bachelor of Science degrees – one in biology and another in nursing — in five years. The Suncoast Nursing Accelerated Pathway program creates an opportunity for students from USFSP and USFSM to earn an undergraduate degree in biology from their respective institutions, followed by a seamless transition to the USF College of Nursing’s accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BS) program. Students enrolled in this five-year accelerated pathway can jumpstart nursing coursework in the third year of their four-year undergraduate biology program, and begin clinical training in the accelerated BS program in spring of their fourth year. During the accelerated BS program, students take classes in Tampa but have opportunities for clinical rotations in their local communities (Pinellas, Sarasota or Manatee counties). They can also engage in nursing research and global nursing experiences.

2018 College of Nursing Expands to Sarasota-Manatee Campus

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Sarasota campusThe USF College of Nursing partnered with the College of Science and Mathematics at USF Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) to offer a nursing program at the Sarasota-Manatee campus. The program has two phases. USFSM will initially offer a pre-nursing curriculum during the first two years of the program, leading to an Associate of Arts certificate. Following the establishment of an upper division baccalaureate program major in nursing at the USFSM campus, targeted to launch in the fall 2020, participants in the pre-nursing program will have the opportunity to be interviewed for admission to the nursing major and complete baccalaureate program requirements either at USFSM or in Tampa.

2018 USF College of Nursing Offers Specialized Fellowship Training

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Neurosurgery equipmentThe University of South Florida’s College of Nursing partnered with the USF Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair in the Morsani College of Medicine to offer its first neurosurgical-specific nursing fellowship for advanced practice nurses seeking specialized training after graduation. The 12-month Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Neurosurgical Fellowship provides up to two acute care nurse practitioners the opportunity for increased experience and knowledge, thereby developing clinical expertise and providing evidence-based care in neurosurgery. To ensure the fellowship complies with the ANCC accreditation guidelines, College of Nursing leaders are helping to oversee the program’s curriculum, structure, and evaluation process. The program has expanded to offer other specializations.

2018 Global Pathways Offer International Experiences

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Students posing in ScotlandThe USF Global Pathways initiatives provide USF students with significant global opportunities in and outside of required coursework. Many of these experiences help students in meeting the requirements for the Global Citizen Awards. These opportunities enable students to practice and apply global competencies.

Within the College, upper division students can meet the Global Pathways criteria through successful completion of the following courses:

  • Patient Centered Care: Essentials of Nursing Practice is an introductory course that introduces key global/cultural competencies that are mapped to the Self-Awareness (I) and Synthesis(I) Global Citizens Project Objectives (GPLOs).  This course is taken in the first semester of the Upper Division (UD) program. Students also have the opportunity to practice clinically in order to gain exposure to the cultural diversity within the Tampa Bay area.
  • Public Health Nursing is currently mapped against GPLOs: Self-Awareness (R) and Synthesis (R). This course includes a high-impact Immersive International Experience within the curriculum. Immersion experiences provide nursing students the unique opportunity to combine cultural exposures and the exploration of health care systems. The college offers international placements in Scotland, Panama and St Croix.

2018 College of Nursing Collaborates with Student Health Services to Provide Extended Hours

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The collaboration with Student Health Services (SHS) provides evening hours — three days a week — at the health clinic for students who are sick, injured, or managing a chronic health problem to see a nurse practitioner. The after-hours clinic is open from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday through Thursday nights. The extended hours provides students with greater access to care, but also enables practicing faculty to maintain clinical hours needed to maintain certification requirements.

2018 College Hosts Inaugural USF Health Interprofessional (IPE) Day

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USF System President Judy Genshaft and Dr. Rich with the winning USF Health student team and Dr. LockwoodOn November 18, the inaugural USF Health IPE day was attended by more than 250 faculty, students and staff from across USF Health. The event, co-chaired by Dr. Victoria Rich and Dr. Jay Wolfson, featured speakers Scott Newell, a commercial pilot and paramedic turned health-care simulation educator, and Chad Epps, MD, executive director of health care simulation at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. The event was also was an opportunity to motivate faculty in the development of an IPE curriculum.

The afternoon session kicked off with a deans' panel discussion regarding how each college within USF Health will be moving forward with IPE. Afterward, 16 teams comprised of faculty and students from multiple disciplines, participated in an escape-room activity to rescue their "kidnapped" leader, Dr. Charles Lockwood. The activity was designed to promote teamwork and enable students from the different colleges to become acquainted as a precursor to collaborating on interprofessional health care teams.