<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=799546403794687&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Celebrating 125 Years of CU Nursing

College marks its ‘quasquicentennial’ in 2023

The University of Colorado College of Nursing at Anschutz Medical Campus is celebrating a major milestone this year, and we invite you to celebrate with us! Throughout much of 2023, we will observe our “quasquicentennial” – also known as our 125th anniversary.

Over the past 125 years, the institution now known as CU Nursing has changed its name and locations several times. What remains resolute, is our commitment to excellence, innovation, and saving lives.

Developed in 1898 under the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the University Hospital Training School for Nurses first opened in Boulder – with the first three graduates completing the program in 1901. By 1922, the training school closed in preparation of a move to Denver, where the University of Colorado School of Nursing founded in 1924.

Though there were many significant developments between then and now, CU Nursing has maintained a reputation of shepherding a plethora of nursing education “firsts," including:

  • CU Nursing founded the first nurse practitioner program –As envisioned by Loretta "Lee" Ford and Henry Silver in 1965, our Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program was the first of its kind in the country. The program was established in response to the shortage of primary care providers – particularly among underserved patients.
Loretta FordBaby588
  • CU Nursing is known as a forerunner in the field of holistic nursing – Thanks to the pioneering work and teachings of Jean Watson, PhD '73 (among others) CU Nursing is widely regarded as a global beacon for caring science, which has been embraced by hundreds of nursing schools and healthcare facilities around the world.
  • CU Nursing is credited with the widespread adoption of nurse residency programs – Last year, an article in the Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing paid tribute to the groundbreaking work of two nursing leaders with strong ties to CU Nursing, Colleen Goode, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Mary Krugman, PhD, FAAN. Goode and Krugman were credited with building what has become a national model that has helped nursing graduates segue to their chosen profession.
  • CU Nursing was the first school in the country to establish a Veterans and Military Health Care program – The online Master of Science in Nursing (MS Nursing) Veteran and Military Health Care (VMHC) degree is a specialty based on the unique attributes of the veteran and military service member population and healthcare delivery systems.

These are just a few examples of our trailblazing work over the years.

Elias-Provencio-VasquezPORTRAITCU Nursing Dean
Elias Provencio-Vasquez, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAANP

“I’m proud to be among a long line of deans who have led CU Nursing over 125 years of greatness,” says CU Nursing Dean Elias Provencio-Vasquez, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAANP. “Though we’ve accomplished much in the past, we’ll continue to push forward in the future to innovate, and to adapt to the needs of patients and healthcare.”

As CU Nursing’s dean since August, 2018, Provencio-Vasquez also brought a number of “firsts” to the college’s rich history. Among them: He was the first Hispanic male to be appointed dean to a college of nursing at the Nursing School at the University of Texas-El Paso, and also the first Hispanic male to earn a PhD in Nursing in the U.S., as well as the first Hispanic male to be appointed dean to CU Nursing.

In the months to come, we’ll celebrate CU Nursing’s 125th Anniversary with social media postings, historical features, events, and other initiatives to highlight our people, where we’ve been as an institution, and where we are going.

In the meantime, keep watching our newsroom and our social media channels (on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter) to learn more about our history how to mark this historic occasion with us throughout 2023.

Topics: Education, Faculty