One hundred twenty-five years ago, when William McKinley was president, the automobile was a novelty, and the airplane was just a dream, five women began their education at the brand-new State University of Iowa Training School for Nurses. These women, and the women who followed them soon after, were trailblazers. When I hear stories about the college’s history from older alumni and their families, I am always impressed with the fortitude students showed. Many of them were the first in their family to reach this level of education, leaving their small hometowns on buses.
The name, the curriculum, and the uniform have all changed over the years, but that fortitude has not. The Iowa Nurse continues to be courageous—in the Cadet Nurse Corps, in the pursuit of evidence-based practice, and in research dedicated to improving patients’ lives; the Iowa Nurse continues to be a leader—in their community, in the state, and around the world; and the Iowa Nurse continues to be purposeful—guided by a mission to promote the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations.
We are incredibly proud of the nurses who built this college, fought for its independence, and grew it into the renowned institution it is today, and we are proud of the thousands of alumni who have carried on the tradition of the Iowa Nurse wherever their lives have taken them.
It is an honor to lead the University of Iowa College of Nursing as we reach this milestone, sharing and celebrating the past, while looking forward to a bright future.
Julie Zerwic, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN
Kelting Dean and Professor
125 years: A Legacy of Leadership
Small program big impact
From its roots as a small training school, the College has grown into one of the most successful programs in the country.
Certificates of Graduate Nurse granted between 1898–1956
Bachelor of Science (Liberal Arts and Nursing) degrees granted between 1919-1949
Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees granted between 1949–2023
Master of Nursing and Healthcare Practice degrees granted
Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees granted between 2006–2023
Master of Science in Nursing degrees granted