Our History

What it means to be an IU Nurse

IU School of Nursing faculty discuss the impact of the School across the globe.


Since our founding in 1914, Indiana University School of Nursing has evolved into the largest school in the country that offer a full range of academic degrees. In addition, we offer postdoctoral research training and extensive continuing education offerings.

Programs of study:

The Indianapolis and Bloomington schools form a core campus, and over the next few months IU School of Nursing - Fort Wayne will become part of the core. Visit the transition website for udpates as we move through the process.

In 1922, six School of Nursing students founded the Alpha Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, which has evolved into a quarter-million member nursing honor society that includes practicing nurses, instructors, researchers, policy makers, executives, entrepreneurs, and others.

In 1945, our first master's level nursing courses were offered, with the MSN program becoming fully accredited in 1957. In 1965, nursing was formally recognized as Indiana University's tenth school and IU Northwest became the first regional campus to offer nursing courses. The Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS) program was approved in 1976, with the first doctoral students admitted in 1978 and the first DNS degree awarded in 1981. Distance education courses were first offered in 1985. The transition from a DNS program to the current PhD program was approved in 1995, with the first PhD students enrolling in 1996.

In December 2009, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education approved the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. This 37-hour post-masters clinical doctorate admitted its first cohort in fall 2010.

Since our beginnings, we have undergone various stages of growth and development. Moving from the first stage, focused on extending undergraduate nursing education throughout the state, the school entered a second stage of building nursing's presence on each Indiana University campus. We are currently in a third evolutionary stage of development and are forging multi-site partnerships dedicated to the shared commitment of teaching excellence and interactive learning.