132 General Information
132.1 Historical Note
The first Nursing courses at the University of Alberta were taught in Public Health Nursing and were included in the 1919 lecture program series of the University. The U of A established the School of Nursing under the Faculty of Medicine. The School began with two programs, a three-year diploma program and a five-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. The School admitted the first diploma class in October 1923, and students were admitted to the degree program in 1924. The five-year course leading to a BScN and registration as a nurse consisted of two years of university courses and three years of clinical courses. The latter, “sandwiched” between university courses, were completed at the University of Alberta Hospital (UAH) School of Nursing which integrated university students with the diploma class. In the final year of the degree program, nurses selected a focus of Nursing Education, Nursing Administration, or Public Health Nursing.
Although many changes in the five-year program occurred over the years, the clinical portion continued to be offered by the UAH School of Nursing until 1966, when the University of Alberta School of Nursing became an autonomous academic unit, and the four-year integrated Baccalaureate in Nursing Program was implemented. The School of Nursing received Faculty status in 1976. The University of Alberta Hospitals continued to maintain a diploma School of Nursing apart from the program of the University.
In 1991, with the aim of increasing the number of baccalaureate prepared nurses, the Faculty of Nursing entered into collaboration with the four local diploma in nursing programs. Between 1991 and 1995 students took the first two years of the baccalaureate in nursing program with these collaborative partners and the last two years of the program at the Faculty of Nursing. Following the closure of hospital schools of nursing in 1995, the Faculty resumed delivering all four years of the program while continuing to provide the last two years of the program to transferring students from Grant McEwan College.
An off-campus BScN program began in 1990 in collaboration with Red Deer College. In 1995, two additional off-campus BScN programs were implemented with Grande Prairie Regional College in Grande Prairie and Keyano College in Fort McMurray. These programs allow students to complete a four-year BScN program at the collaborating College, with the U of A granting the degree.
In addition to continuing to offer the BScN Post-RN Program which began in 1952, the Faculty of Nursing has, since the 1990s, been developing new undergraduate programs and new streams within undergraduate programs that facilitate the completion of the BScN degree. A Post RPN program was initiated in 1993, an After Degree Program in 2004, and a LPN stream within the Collaborative Program in 2005. In 2004 the Faculty of Nursing began to offer a Bilingual nursing program in collaboration with Faculté Saint-Jean. Finally, in 2005 the Faculty introduced a BScN-Honors Program. Throughout its history, the Faculty has also offered a variety of undergraduate certificates tailored to the needs of practicing nurses.
The first graduate program in Nursing in Alberta was introduced at the University in 1975. The Master of Nursing program originally focused on acute care nursing and in 1983 community health nursing became a parallel focus. In conjunction with the MN Program, a certificate in Nurse Midwifery was introduced in 1988, and a Certificate in Advanced Neonatal Intensive Care was added in 1992. Students could also focus on Nursing Administration.
In September 1997, the MN curriculum was completely revised to focus on preparing nurses for advanced nursing practice roles and to offer the option of a course-based Master's degree. The new curriculum offers three major streams: Individual/Family Health Nursing, Community/Public Health Nursing, and Leadership Teaching or Research.
The first Canadian PhD in Nursing program (initial five-year funding received from the Alberta Government Departments of Advanced Education and Health) was instituted at the University of Alberta in January 1991 to prepare nurses for leadership roles in practice, education, and research. The goal of the program is to educate for excellence in the development and testing of nursing knowledge.