School of Nursing Records, 1930-2017

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Duke University. School of Nursing
Contains the administrative records of the School of Nursing, School of Nursing Alumni Association, and other nursing student associations. Types of materials include correspondence, minutes, certificates, newsletters, budgets, evaluations, reports, class records, proceedings, publications, awards, photographs, ephemera, memorabilia, printed materials, DVDs, CDs, and clippings. Major subjects include Duke University School of Nursing students and faculty, School of Nursing Alumni Association, Nursing Student Government Association, Nursing education, continuing education, nursing students, nursing societies, sororities, Sigma Theta Tau, Bessie Baker, Rachel Booth, Myrtle Irene Brown, Dorothy Brundage, Ann Jacobansky, Margaret Pinkerton, Florence K. Wilson, and Ruby L. Wilson. Materials range in date from 1930 to 2017.
80.25 Linear Feet (50 cartons, 6 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box, 4 flat boxes) and 286.9 MB
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

This collection documents the School of Nursing (SON) at Duke University. The collection contains accreditation files; administrative records; correspondence; class records; committee information; subject files; conference information; faculty meeting materials; grant materials; records pertaining to the Nursing Student Government Association; planning materials, records pertaining to student associations, social, and honorary groups; publications, photographic material, ephemera, lectures, programs, bulletins, scrapbooks, audiovisual materials, optical media, printed materials, and other records pertaining to the SON. Materials date from 1930 to 2017.

Biographical / historical:

The plan for developing a School of Nursing (SON) was put into motion by Duke University School of Medicine's first dean, Wilburt Cornell Davison. In 1930, Davison recruited Bessie Baker to become the first dean of the School of Nursing. Baker served as dean, instructor, recruiter, and hospital liaison at Duke University. In 1931, Baker recruited and selected the first students to enroll in the new three-year diploma program. In 1938, the school began awarding baccalaureate degrees to students who completed two years of college along with the nursing curricula. In 1953, a four-year professional program in nursing leading to the bachelor of nursing degree was established. In 1958, a graduate program to prepare clinical nurse specialists began. This master's program, which prepared advanced practitioners for clinical practice, was the forerunner of graduate nursing programs nationally. Today, the School of Nursing offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, joint master's degrees, and a post-master's certificate in a variety of majors preparing students as clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse administrators, and clinical research managers. The Duke University School of Nursing is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
In addition to the School of Nursing's academic and clinical functions, the school sponsors two major student associations: the Duke University School of Nursing Alumni Association and the Graduate Nursing Student Association. The Duke University School of Nursing Alumni Association is an affiliate of the Duke University General Alumni Association. The purpose of the Alumni Association is to cultivate fellowship among alumni and with current students, as well as providing opportunities for involvement in Duke University Alumni Affairs Association. The Nursing Alumni Affairs administrative office is housed within the Office of External Affairs. The office also provides opportunities for alumni to inform their classmates about changes in their lives and careers by sending information for publication in the class notes section of the annual newsletter. The Nursing Alumni Association membership dues enable the Alumni Association to sponsor the following programs projects like publishing "In Touch," the annual newsletter: provides student support and assistance such as mid-year graduation events, networking events and attendance at professional conferences, providing recognition and awards during Reunion Weekend, and sponsoring Reunion Weekend events. The Graduate Nursing Student Association (GNSA) is the student organization of the Duke University School of Nursing for graduate and accelerated BSN students. The purpose of the association is to serve the student's educational and professional needs and provide a formal structure for student participation in a wide variety of events within the school. The GNSA is the governing body of the students of the school and the source of information of importance to students. Each year, the GNSA sponsors the award for Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year. The recipient of this award is chosen by students; the president of the GNSA presents the award during the school's annual Hooding and Recognition Ceremony.
Other social and honorary groups like Santa Filomena, Sigma Kappa, and Sigma Theta Tau have all contributed to Duke University School of Nursing student life. Santa Filomena, the senior honorary society of the Duke University School of Nursing, was organized in April 1944 under the sponsorship of the 1943 class. The purpose of the organization was to recognize achievement and promote leadership. New members were chosen to join the society during the end of their junior years, with new membership making up not more than twenty percent of members of the senior class. Other Santa Filomena chapters at Watts School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and North Carolina State University were active throughout the 1960s. The Duke University chapter dissolved around 1967. The Alpha Psi chapter of Sigma Kappa was installed at Duke University in January of 1931 with ten charter members. In the early 1960s, the sorority revived itself with a renewed focus on education and scholarship. Sorority officers also focused on instilling standards of health, personal grooming, and refined manners in their members. There are few records documenting the sorority's activities from 1931 to 1960. The Alpha Psi chapter dissolved sometime after 1967. In the spring of 1972, the Beta Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing, was established at Duke with a charter membership of 100 students, faculty, and alumni. Sigma Theta Tau is the only international honor society for nursing and is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies. The society recognizes achievement of superior quality, fosters high professional standards, encourages creative work, recognizes the development of leadership qualities, and strengthens the individual's commitment to the ideals and purposes of professional nursing. The induction ceremony is held once a year in the fall.
The School of Nursing is located on Trent Drive on the Duke University Medical Center campus, in close proximity to Duke Hospital, Duke Clinics, as well as the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Hanes House, which is directly across the breezeway from the School of Nursing, contains additional space shared by the School of Nursing, the Department of Community and Family Medicine, and Duke University Health Systems Education. Other School of Nursing facilities are located at Duke Hospital South and the on Ninth Street in Durham.

Acquisition information:
Accession A1973.0020 (1973), Accession A1974.0170 (1974), Accession A1976.0109 (1976), Accession A2003.018 (acquired, May 2003), Accession A2003.033 (transferred, May 2003), Accession A2003.053 (acquired, June 2003), Accession A2005.058 (transferred, November 2005), Accession A2005.065 (transferred, December 2005), Accession A2006.001 (transferred, January 2006), Accession A2006.007 (gift, January 2006), Accession A2006.008 (transferred, January 2006), Accession A2006.009 (gift, January 2006). Accession A2006.042 (transferred, April 2006), Accession A2006.046 (transferred, May 2006), Accession A2007.058 (transferred, June 2007), Accession A2008.038 (transferred, June 2008), Accession A2008.078 (transferred, November 2008), Accession A2009.008 (transferred, February 2009), Accession A2009.021 (transferred, April 2009), Accession A2009.047 (transferred, September 2009), Accession A2009.058 (gift, November 2009), Accession A2009.066 (transferred, November 2009), Accession A2009.074 (transferred, December 2009), Accession A2010.017 (gift by Gladys Lewis, April 2010), Accession A2010.023 (transferred, May 2010), Accession A2010.071 (transferred, November 2010), Accession A2011.029 (gift, April 2011), Accession A2011.065 (gift, July 2011), Accession A2012.072 (transferred, November 2012), Accession A2013.022 (gift by Linda Markee, April 2013), Accession A2013.116 (transferred by Amelia Howle, November 2013), Accession A2014.011 (gift by Anne McKelvey, April 2014), Accession A2014.020 (gift by Amelia Howle, July 2014), Accession A2015.047 (transferred by Jennifer Cody, December 2015), Accession A2017.032 (transferred by Janene Schneider, August 2017); Accession A2019.066 (transferred by Linda K. George, July 2019)
Processing information:

Processed by Archives staff: January 2004; encoded by Emily Glenn: January 2004; updated by Emily Glenn: June 2006; updated by Cate Putirskis: March 2007; updated by Dawne Howard Lucas: January 2009, September 2009, November 2009; updated by Astrid Cook-Dail under the supervision of Lucy Waldrop: July 2016; updated by Lucy Waldrop: August 2017; updated by Kahlee Leingang under the supervision of Lucy Waldrop: April 2018; updated by Caroline Waller under the supervision of Lucy Waldrop: October 2018, updated by Lucy Waldrop: July 2019

Organized into the following series and accessions: Accreditation Files, 1938-1982; Alumni Association Records, 1930-2006; Class Records, 1934-1985; Committees, 1938-1989; Dean's Subject Files, 1933-1998; Distributive Nursing Conferences, 1973-1978; Faculty Meeting Minutes, 1939-1984; Grant Materials, 1960-1991; Nursing Student Government Association, 1938-1984; Planning and Retrenchment, 1953-1982; Santa Filomena, 1943-1967; Sigma Kappa. Alpha Psi Chapter Records, 1960-1967; Publications, 1938-1983; Photographs and Ephemera, 1930-1989; Harriet Cook Carter Lectureship Materials, 1966-2004; Accession A2005.038: Records, 1950-2003; Programs, Publications, and Bulletins, 1972-2006; Accession A2006.001: Audiovisual Course and Research, 2002-2004; Accession A2006.042: Scrapbooks, 1957-1984; Accession A2004.046: Scrapbooks, 1933-1966; Accessions A2006.046 and Accession A2008.078: Publications, Programs, and Bulletins, 1992-2008; Accession A2006.046: Audiovisual Materials, 1977-2001; Miscellaneous Materials, 1939-2014, Accession A2015.047, 2004-2015; Accession A2017.032, 2000-2017; Accession A2019.066, 1992-2001; Digital Files, 2005-2013. Material within this collection has been organized by accession reflecting the fact that the collection has been acquired in increments over time. Researchers should note that material within each accession overlaps with/or relates to material found in other accessions. In order to locate all relevant material within this collection, researchers will need to consult each accession described in the Series Scope and Contents section. Researchers should also note that similar material can be arranged differently in each accession, depending on how the material was organized when it was received by the DUMCA.
Physical location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.


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This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals or IRB approval may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which Duke University assumes no responsibility.
Contains Medical Center Administrative records. These include records of the officers of the University, as defined in the Bylaws, the deans of schools and colleges, and departments, institutes, and other offices as designated by the President. For a period of twenty-five years from the origin of the material, permission in writing from the director of the office of record and the Medical Center Archivist is required for use. After twenty-five years, records that have been processed may be consulted with the permission of the Medical Center Archivist. (Issued by the Office of the Chancellor, December 1, 1975).

Terms of access:

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], School of Nursing Records, Duke University Medical Center Archives.