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The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing (UABSON) was chartered as the University of Alabama School of Nursing (UASON) in 1950. The school opened its doors that year, after the Alabama Legislature in 1949 authorized and provided funds for a collegiate baccalaureate-level school of nursing in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, at the University of Alabama (UA).

In 1967, the school moved from the Tuscaloosa campus to UA's rapidly growing Birmingham satellite campus, where it became a component of the academic complex that in 1969 became an autonomous university – now known as the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

This school's history has Birmingham-based nursing education roots dating to 1903, embedded in diploma nursing education provided by hospitals that became the foundation for UAB's internationally known medical center. Today the UAB School of Nursing—offering baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral nursing education—continues to pioneer in educating nurse leaders.

History Highlights

  • 1950s


    University of Alabama (UA) School of Nursing on the Tuscaloosa campus is founded as a state-supported collegiate baccalaureate-level nursing school.

    On June 5, Florence A. Hixson, who would receive doctorate in education from Columbia University in 1952, accepts the position as the first dean.

    In September, the school opens with three programs: traditional baccalaureate, RN-to-BSN for registered nurses, and a centralized social/biological sciences teaching program for students in seven Alabama hospital-based diploma nursing schools.

    From the school's beginning, plans take shape for its students to receive much of their clinical education in Birmingham at UA's growing Medical Center.


    Some junior-year courses are taught at UA's Extension Center in Birmingham; later in the decade, master's-degree courses also are taught there.


    The basic baccalaureate program has its first graduates.


    The master's program begins and will have its first graduates in 1956.


    The Nu Chapter of The Honor Society for Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, is installed at the school as the nation's twelfth chapter.

    James Bryan becomes the first male student to graduate from the basic baccalaureate program.

  • 1960s


    Sarah Louise Fisher is admitted to the basic baccalaureate program and in 1969 will become the school's first African-American graduate.


    In Birmingham, the UA Extension Center becomes a four-year College of General Studies; its roles include providing academic background to professional schools' students within the UA Medical Center, including the medical and dental schools.


    The UA School of Nursing moves from the Tuscaloosa campus to the Birmingham campus, to operate alongside UA's other health-related professional schools.

    In Birmingham, the collegiate nursing school is housed in several temporary quarters until its new building is constructed.

    UA's diploma nursing school in Birmingham, University Hospital School of Nursing, begins a planned phase-out, to end with its 1969 closing.


    The Birmingham-based Medical Center and the College of General Studies, to this point part of UA, become an autonomous university, initially the University of Alabama in Birmingham, later the University of Alabama at Birmingham, more commonly UAB.

    The collegiate nursing school's move to Birmingham and UAB's emergence as an autonomous university set the stage for the nursing school increasingly to be known as the UAB School of Nursing.

    Delois Skipwith Guy joins the school as its first African-American faculty member.

  • 1970s


    In June, Dr. Florence A. Hixson retires as dean; she is succeeded by Dr. Marie L. O'Koren, the school's assistant dean and one of its master's graduates.


    The school moves into its newly constructed building (still in use today), that features the Learning Resource Center (LRC), offering state-of-the-art instructional support.


    Nurse practitioner (NP) education begins at the school with pediatric NP coursework through the school's Department of Continuing Education, leading to a certificate rather than a degree; the school's later NP programs are at the master's level.


    Dr. Kathryn "Kitty" Barchard is recruited to head school's first research program, the Center for Research and Development; this will evolve into the school's Center for Nursing Research.


    Dr. Carl H. Miller becomes the first male nurse to join the school's faculty.


    The school's Doctor of Science in Nursing (DSN) program is approved in August as the nation's thirteenth nursing doctorate and the Southeast's first; Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies Dr. Jean A. Kelley leads the preparation for the DSN proposal; coursework begins in January 1976; the first graduates are in 1979.


    The school's Outreach Project for Master's Nursing education begins; faculty travel in a large motor home tofour Alabama cities, teaching the entire master's curriculum within easy access for many nurses.


    The school's Center for Nursing Research is established as the state's first such center, and among the first in the nation.

  • 1980s


    The University of Alabama School of Nursing Alumni Association is founded in February.


    Hixson Hall, the nursing residence hall completed in 1962 on the UAB campus, is named in honor of Dr. Florence A. Hixson, the school's first dean.


    Dr. Marie L. O'Koren retires as the school's second dean; she is succeeded by Dr. Rachel Z. Booth, who had been at Duke University as assistant vice president for health affairs, and dean and professor in the school of nursing.

  • 1990s


    Graduates of the four diploma nursing schools that are part of UAB's history are invited to become members of the Alumni Association serving UAB's collegiate nursing school.


    The Board of Visitors (BOV) community-support board, a vision of Dean Rachel Z. Booth, is founded to raise funds and increase public awareness of the school.

    The Marie L. O'Koren Endowed Chair in Nursing, the school's first endowed chair, is established; Dr. Barbara A. Smith is the first to be recruited to fill the chair; in 2013, Dr. Marie A. Bakitas will become the second.


    The school is designated to develop a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Nursing, the 7th such U.S. center and the twenty-seventh worldwide; with uninterrupted redesignations and with PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) now part of its name, the center continues today.


    The Rachel Z. Booth Endowed Chair in Nursing is established; In 2007, Dr. Linda Moneyham will become the first to fill the chair.


    The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing program begins at the school, and today remains the only such program in Alabama; a phase-out begins for the school's Doctor of Science in Nursing (DSN) program, to conclude in 2005.

    The University of Alabama School of Nursing Alumni Association's name changes to The Nursing Alumni Chapter of the UAB National Alumni Society.

    The honors in Nursing program begins under Dr. Ellen Buckner's leadership.

  • 2000s


    To celebrate the school's 50th anniversary, Alumni Association archivist Pat Cleveland and UAB curator Stefanie Rookis create a historical exhibit; a school history book by historian Anita Smith is introduced – The First Fifty Years: From Tuscaloosa to Birmingham.


    Dr. Carol Z. Garrison, a 1976 MSN graduate of the school, becomes the first nurse appointed UAB president; she will serve as president until 2012; in 2013 she will receive the nursing school's Distinguished Alumni Award.


    Dean Rachel Z. Booth hosts the inaugural Cap & Cape event, honoring pioneer graduates of four diploma nursing schools operating consecutively, 1903-1969, on the campus that came to be known as UAB.

    The Donna Brown Banton Endowed Professorship is established; in 2008 it will be filled by Dr. Patricia A. Patrician, a retired U.S. Army colonel.

    Dr. Rachel Z. Booth retires as dean; she is succeeded by Dr. Doreen C. Harper, who had been serving as dean of the Graduate School of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Worchester.


    The Junior Board of Visitors (JBOV) is established with help from the Board of Visitors (BOV) as a vehicle for young community leaders to support nursing and nursing education.

    The school launches its BSN-to-PhD curriculum as a seamless path an entering baccalaureate student can travel to pursue PhD in nursing degree.


    The school ranks first among U.S. schools of nursing for faculty scholarly productivity, in an annual Academic Analytics rating of faculty in more than 7,000 U.S. doctoral programs.


    The Joint Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program begins in collaboration with the UAB School of Health Professions, University of Alabama in Huntsville College of Nursing, and University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing in Tuscaloosa, with UAB's School of Nursing designated as the coordinating school; the first DNP graduates are in December 2009.

    In partnership with the UAB Health System, the school initiates an Accelerated Master's in Nursing Pathway for individuals who have earned a previous degree in a non-nursing field.

    The school's Clinical Nurse Leader program begins.

    The school is approved by the Peace Corps for a Paul D. Coverdell program, known as Peace Corps Fellows.


    The School is designated to have a Veterans Affairs (VA) Nursing Academy, by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Academic Affiliations.

  • 2010s


    The school celebrates its 60th anniversary and recognizes 60 visionary alumni, at a time when the school has more than 11,000 graduates who are serving or have served throughout the U.S. and world.

    The school receives 10-year maximum accreditation from Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for its baccalaureate and master's programs and five-year maximum accreditation for its joint Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.


    U.S.News & World Report ranks UAB School of Nursing No. 21, in the top 5 percent of nursing schools in country; the school's adult nurse practitioner program and nursing service administration programs are ranked No. 10, and the family nurse practitioner program is ranked No. 12.

    In-progress or just-completed renovations facilitate the school's growing interprofessional approach to learning, with nursing students learning alongside students from other health-related professions.

    In April, Dean Doreen C. Harper is appointed as the Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair for the Dean of the School of Nursing, a chair recently created by a pledge from longtime Board of Visitors (BOV) member Fay B. Ireland and UAB funds.

    The School’s Office of Clinical and Global Partnerships, led by Dr. Cynthia Selleck, began to expand the School’s faculty practice initiative and by 2020 had nearly 60 percent of faculty in practice. Early in this expansion, the School also worked with community and on-campus partners, including UAB Medicine, to start nurse-managed clinics, including PATH, for diabetes, and HRTSA, for heart failure.


    In the fall, the school launches its RN-to-MSN curriculum as a seamless path an entering registered nurse can travel in pursuing a master's degree in nursing.

    As the school's programs of teaching, research, and service expand, and the student body nears 2,000, plans take shape for a future construction project to accommodate the growth – an expansion that will connect with the school's present building.

    Effective August 1, UAB's Nurse Anesthesia program moves from the School of Health Professions to the School of Nursing, a move recommended and approved by both schools' faculties.

    On October 14, the Barrett Brock MacKay Florence Nightingale Exhibit is dedicated at the school, to showcase the contents of the treasured Nightingale letters collection housed in Lawrence Reynolds Historical Library at UAB's Lister Hill Library; the exhibit is named for Board of Visitors (BOV) member Barrett Brock MacKay.


    Dr. Marie A. Bakitas is named to the Marie L. O'Koren Endowed Chair.

    Under the leadership of recently appointed UAB President Dr. Ray L. Watts, the nursing school joins UAB Medicine and other UAB entities in adopting a unified campus-wide brand: "Knowledge that will change your world."

    Partnership created with Children’s Hospital of Alabama to create Clinical Nurse Scholar’s Program to support staff nurses to develop skills to participate in evidence-based practice projects with the goal of improving patient outcomes. There were 12 staff nurses in the first cohort, and Dr. Sara Day, SON faculty member, was the founding director. The program was funded by the Thomas F. Lowder Family Foundation.

    Approval granted from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education for degree conversion of the DSN to a PhD for any living DSN alumni. Of the 359 living DSN alumni, 425 chose to convert their DSN to a PhD, and 114 chose to not to convert their degree.


    The School begins a series of initiatives funded by multiple grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), The Daniel Foundation of Alabama and others to improve mental health care, quality of care and outcomes for underresourced patients and Veterans. By 2020 the School will have received more than $46 million for these initiatives.

    The PhD program is revised to improve program outcomes and includes improvements related to generation of increased research and grant funding, postdoctoral fellowships, and extramural and philanthropic grants for student support.

    A collaborative partnership, the Veterans Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership (VANAP), is formed between UAB School of Nursing and the Birmingham VA Medical Center.

    The UAB School of Nursing celebrates the 20-year anniversary of the Pan American Health Organization/ World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Collaborating Center for International Nursing on January 9, 2014, following the official designation on March 4, 1993, under the leadership of Dean Rachel Booth and Dr. Juanzetta Flowers.

    Alumni of the School of Nursing reaches 14,000.

    The Daniel Foundation of Alabama awards the UAB School of Nursing a one million dollar grant for the purpose of creating increased healthcare access in rural Alabama. This funding was used to develop the Graduate Nursing Education Primary Care Scholars (GNEPC) program, which recruited nurse practitioner program graduates to work in medically underserved areas of Alabama.

    The first 30-second commercial for the UAB School of Nursing is created by the Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications Team and is shown at a campus basketball game and on ABC 33/40 during Saturday morning programming.


    UAB Hospital and the School of Nursing develop an academic practice partnership to open a nurse-managed, interprofessional transitional care clinic for heart failure patients. The clinic’s goal is to reduce 30-day readmission rates and improve access to care for the underinsured and medically underserved. Funded by a $1.5 million NEPQR grant from HRSA, the clinic was initially led by Dr. Maria Shirey, UAB SON faculty and Dr. Connie White Williams, Director of the Center for Nursing Excellence at UAB Hospital.

    The VA Mental Health After Hours Clinic, a partnership between the Birmingham VA Medical Center and the School of Nursing, opens in May. The clinic focuses on recently discharged patients from the VA Medical Center and veterans and their families. The clinic is led by Dr. Chance Nicholson, UAB SON faculty, and provides interprofessional team-based care for complex behavioral health issues.

    The Retired Faculty and Friends Endowed Nursing Scholarship is initiated by retired School of Nursing faculty, led by Judy Taylor, the group also includes Dr. Sylvia Britt, Pat Cleveland, Pamela Daugherty, Dr. Mardell Davis, Velma Denson, Maxine Jones, Alberta McCaleb, Ayda Nambayan and Ann Sirles.

    A National Advisory Council, composed of alumni with a record of transforming health care and outcomes through their work, is formed. This group will work in an advisory capacity with the Dean to facilitate innovative strategies to best position the UAB School of Nursing as the premier educational institution for nursing students at all levels. Initial members of this group include Delois Skipwith Guy, retired faculty member and first African American member of the School of Nursing faculty, Constance Smith Hendricks, Velinda Block, Nancy Dunlap, Madeline Harris, Larry Hornsby, Sue Ellen Lucas, Terri Poe, Cindy Selleck, Cathy Ward, Connie Yarbro, Joann Disch and Martha Lavender, School of Nursing alumni.

    The Birmingham Chapter of the American Association for Men in Nursing is formed, under the leadership of Dr. Curry Bordelon and Dr. Greg Eagerton, UAB SON faculty, to encourage the diversification of men in the nursing profession and to shape the practice, education, research and leadership for men in nursing and advance men’s health.

    A nursing faculty team composed of Jackie Moss, Cindy Selleck and Randy Moore develop veteran’s health competencies for undergraduate nursing education to highlight the unique and often overlooked healthcare needs of the veteran population and their families.

    Dean Doreen Harper is inducted into the Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame.


    The School and UAB Medicine formally expand the UAB Nursing Partnership with a common mission, vision and values to work together with aligned resources to leverage education, research and practice initiatives to benefit both.

    The School launches its independent Doctor of Nursing Practice Program which includes both the MSN-to-DNP Pathway and the BSN-to-DNP Pathway.

    The School’s Office of Technology and Innovation, which leads the School’s skills and simulation initiatives as well as instructional design and telehealth, is established with Dr. Jacqueline Moss as its first Associate Dean.

    A graduate subspecialty in in forensic nursing is developed by Dr. Patricia Speck, UAB SON faculty, and offered for the first time in Fall 2016.

    Dr. Karen Meneses, Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship, is named the Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, the highest honor bestowed by the UAB Academic Health Center. This distinction honors individuals in the UAB Academic Medical Center who have made major contributions in education, research or service. Her presentation was titled “From Bataan to Birmingham: Stories of Survivors”.

    UAB School of Nursing and UAB Medicine collaborate though the UAB Nursing Partnership to co-host the first Birmingham Nurses Night Out, and honor local nurses during Nurses Week. This event was held at Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham.

    The BSN to DNP program for CRNAs is established and first student cohort is admitted in May, under the leadership of Dr. Susan McMullan, Nurse Anesthesia Pathway Coordinator.

    UAB Solution Studios is developed by Dr. Nancy Wingo, UAB SON faculty, Dr. Kristin Noles, UAB Nurse Manager, and Dr. Joel Berry, UAB School of Engineering, for the purpose of fostering interprofessional partnerships between UAB undergraduate and graduate students and clinicians at the medical center.

    The Alabama Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses is established under the leadership of Dr. Grace Grau, UAB SON faculty.

    The Veterans Affairs Nurse Academic Partnership (VANAP) between the School of Nursing and the Birmingham VA Medical Center, is recognized as a national academic practice model by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

    Dean Doreen Harper is elected to serve on the UAB Health System Board of Directors, becoming the first to serve in a new permanent nursing seat on that board.

    A groundbreaking ceremony is held to mark the beginning of the construction of the new addition to the school of Nursing. To accommodate construction, many faculty and staff offices were relocated external to the school of nursing and housed in the Medical Towers on 11th Avenue and in the Pita Stop building on 12th Street for the duration of the construction. The architect company for this expansion and renovation project was Williams Blackstock and Boston (Massachusetts-based Payette Associates) and the contractor was M.J. Harris Construction Services, LLC.

    UAB School of Nursing alumni reaches 15,000, living and working across the world.


    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Academic Affiliations awards a Post-Baccalaureate Nurse Residency to the Birmingham VA Medical Center and UAB School of Nursing. The residency, which lasts for one year and is led by Dr. Randy Moore, UAB SON faculty, assists with the transition to professional practice for new baccalaureate-prepared nurses.

    The School of Nursing receives designation as a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing in the category “Enhancing Student Learning and Professional Development”. Dr. Rhonda McClain, Assistant Dean for Evaluation, led the Task Force that wrote the Center of Excellence application.

    Dr. Patricia Patrician is named the second holder of the Rachel Z. Booth Endowed Chair in Nursing. This position provides support for investigating ways to promote health and quality of life in vulnerable populations with chronic disease.

    UAB School of Nursing receives more than $1.7 in philanthropic grants from community partners to develop and implement a Nurse-Family Partnership program in Jefferson County. Led by Dr. Candace Knight, UAB SON faculty, the program features registered nurses who provide support throughout pregnancy through the child’s second birthday low-income first-time mothers-to-be. The program received nearly 100 referrals during the partnership’s first six months.

    The CRNA program graduates achieve a 100% pass rate on the National Certification Exam (NCE) administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).

    The BSN program graduates achieve a 96.7% NCLEX first-time pass rate, with the Alabama average for the same time period at 90.6% and the national average at 86.9%.

    The DNP program changes from a joint, three-campus program with collaborating partners schools University of Alabama-Huntsville and University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa, to an independent program, based on the UAB campus.

    Dr. Edwin Aroke, becomes the first African American to serve on the nurse anesthesia faculty.

    The School of Nursing and the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center (BVAMC) are awarded a post-baccalaureate nurse residency from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Academic Affiliations.


    UAB Nursing Network, an online education broadcast center, for nurses, students and healthcare professionals, is launched in June. The series Clinical Pearls, features host Dr. Tracie White, UAB faculty, and director Dr. Nancy Wingo, UAB SON faculty, and explores common clinical issues encountered by nurses at the bedside and in advanced practice.

    The first Faculty Quality Improvement Scholars, Cori Johnson, Clare Kranz and Shannon Polson, are named. Led by Dr. Rebecca Miltner, UAB SON faculty, the scholars in this new program explored quality improvement methods, improvement and implementation science, with the goal of healthcare transformation.

    Under the leadership of Michael Mosely and Sherita Etheridge, AMNP Program Directors, the AMNP curriculum is revised to include healthcare leadership skills, transitional care content and increased clinical hours to facilitate transition to practice.

    The School’s Nu Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society celebrates 60 years. Established in 1958, it is the 12th chartered chapter of Sigma.

    A ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening celebration is held to celebrate the completion of the new addition to the School of Nursing, which included 72,00 square feet of new space over five stories, featuring a Leadership institute classroom space that can convert three classrooms into one large multifunction space. Also, part of the new space is a meeting room that is architecturally similar to Florence Nightingale’s wards, state of the art classroom technology, and upgraded lab space in the Nursing Competency Suites.

    The School of Nursing partners with Children’s Hospital of Alabama to develop a one-year nurse practitioner residency program with the goal of increasing mental health services for children by providing pediatric clinical experiences for psychiatric-mental health nurses.

    Under the leadership of Dr. Maria Shirey, Associate Dean for Clinical and Global Partnerships, a partnership between the School of Nursing and Tuskegee University School of Nursing and Allied Health is initiated to implement a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant designed to increase BSN-prepared RNs in primary care settings.

    The UAB Nursing Partnership, a collaborative effort between the School of Nursing and UAB Hospital, receives the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)s New Era For Academic Nursing award, in recognition of the successful academic-practice partnership.

    Participation in faculty practice in the School of Nursing reaches 58.2% for AY 2018-2019.

    The School of Nursing’s Support and Recognition Committee evolves into the ADMIRE (Appreciation, Diversity, Motivation, Recognition, Inclusion and Equity) Committee, and to support a broader to focus on building diversity, equity and inclusion in the school.


    Philippine Nurses Association of Alabama (PNAA) became the 54th chapter to join the Philippine Nurses Association of America. This effort was led, in part, Dr. Sigrid Ladores, UAB faculty.

    Dr. Martha Dawson, SON faculty, is elected to the position of President of the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) and serves two terms in this position.

    The School of Nursing’s Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society (aka Sigma) expands the Nu Chapter into an At-Large Chapter, in collaboration with UAB Hospital and Tuskegee University School of Nursing and Allied Health. This At-Large Chapter was the sixth to include a practice partner and the third time a Sigma At-Large chapter included HBCU membership.

    The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) evaluates the School of Nursing’s BSN, MSN and DNP programs during a site visit. The school is subsequently granted the maximum of a full 10 years of continuing accreditation.

    The PhD program experiences continued growth as enrollment reaches 45 students in Fall.

    The school of nursing student enrollment reaches 2, 376.

    Benefit-earning staff in the school of nursing total 119.

    Dr. Maria Shirey is selected to be the first holder of the Jane H. Brock – Florence Nightingale Endowed Professorship in Nursing. This position supports a faculty member whose work focuses on building clinical and educational partnerships to improve access to healthcare, and who demonstrated innovative leadership.

    UAB School of Nursing receives redesignation from the World Health Organization as a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for International Nursing, continuing an unbroken chain of redesignations since the initial designation in 1993. This center has collaborated on projects in South America, Central America, north America, Thailand, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Turkey and China.

    The Office of Technology and Innovation hosts the inaugural Innovation Challenge, where faculty in all programs were invited to submit innovative learning activities to compete for professional development awards and recognition.

    Coffee in the Collaboratory, hosted by the Office of Technology and Innovation, is offered monthly to faculty to showcase innovative teaching and learning strategies.

  • 2020s


    The School kicks off its 70th anniversary celebration in February, including recognizing 70 visionary leaders among its more than 18,000 graduates, but postpones in-person events as the entire campus pivots to remote learning, work and events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students engage in remote learning until Fall 2020, and faculty and staff return to campus full-time in May 2021.

    UAB Medicine and the SON create the Helping Hands partnership. This initiative supported nurse staffing during the COVID-19 surge in late December and extended into early 2021. During this time, 125 SON faculty and students contributed 7,359 hours of work, covering 770 shifts. This group administered nearly 50,000 COVID vaccinations.

    The SON receives a $78,000 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security grant from the Health Resources Services Administration, under the leadership of Dr. Maria Shirey, Associate Dean for Clinical and Global Partnerships. This funding supported COVID telehealth education fairs for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as for health care providers in the community and UAB nurse-managed clinics. A total of 184 undergraduate and graduate students received telehealth training from this effort.

    March 16, 2020 was the last day for live classes in the Spring semester. Following spring break, all didactic courses and clinical learning activities pivoted to remote/alternative formats and all faculty/staff worked from home indefinitely due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    During summer semester, students gradually resumed in-person clinical and simulation experiences, with classes remaining in remote/alternative formats.

    Hybrid on-campus classes resumed in Fall semester, featuring a live learning environment that utilized social distancing and masking.

    The School of Nursing Archives receives designation as a Small Museum from the Alabama Museums Association, under the leadership of Patricia Cleveland, retired faculty and Archivist and Dr. Lynn Nichols, Archives Coordinator.

    The School of Nursing’s social media presence, coordinated by the Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications, includes Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, as well as blogs and podcasts.

    The number of faculty working in the School of Nursing grows from 68 (in 2005) to 146, to support the expanding missions of the school.

    Dean Harper and the Executive Leadership Team require all faculty and staff to receive virtual DEI training through the UAB Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

    A donation of eight original letters authored by Florence Nightingale is given to the School of Nursing the Upper Room Christian Art Museum in Nashville Tennessee. These letters focus on Nightingale’s charity work and on public health issues in India.

    The School of Nursing Board of Visitors changes the format of the annual No-Show Ball fundraiser to a virtual format, to comply with social distancing mandates.

    A student Nursing Internship Program (SNIP) for undergraduate nursing students is developed in partnership with Children’s Hospital of Alabama.


    Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing announces her intent to retire on April 30, 2022. Linda Moneyham, PhD, RN, FAAN, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is named Interim Dean.

    The School reaches the top 10 schools of nursing in National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding, ranking No. 6 overall and No. 2 among public schools of nursing for fiscal year 2021, as ranked by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.

    Dr. Felesia Bowen is named the inaugural Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

    The SON Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion establishes an Internal Advisory Council, including students from all degree programs, faculty from multiple departments, programs and pathways, and staff members, for the purpose of promoting inclusivity.

    A Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is developed, featuring strategic goals and action items to address: Access and Success, Retention and Inclusion, Inclusivity and Authenticity, Education and Support, and Stakeholder Engagement. Also included in this strategic plan is a purpose/mission statement, vison statement and core values.

    The UAB School of Nursing Staff Council is launched, with the purpose of engaging staff by promoting a collaborative work environment and providing a voice for staff members across missions and departments.

    Dean Doreen Harper receives the UAB National Alumni Society Honorary Alumni Award.

    Dr. Rebecca Miltner is selected to be the second holder of the Donna Brown Banton Endowed Professorship. This position supports the recipient’s role as a leader of education, with special emphasis on improvement of clinical care and the experience of professional nurse caregivers.

    Dr. Ellen M Lavoie Smith is selected to be the fourth holder of the Marie L. O’Koren Endowed Chair in Nursing. This position supports the work of an internationally renowned academician, researcher, and clinician whose expertise supports the mission of the school.


    Dean Doreen Harper retires in May after serving the School of Nursing for 18 years.

    Maria Rodriguez Shirey, PhD, MBA, MS, RN, NEA-BC, ANEF, FACHE, FNAP, FAAN, Associate Dean for Clinical and Global Partnerships and inaugural holder of UAB’s Jane H. Brock – Florence Nightingale Endowed Professorship in Nursing, is named the fifth dean of the UAB School of Nursing and assumes this role effective June 1.

    Dean Maria Shirey, becomes the second holder of the Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing. This purpose of this position is to support the school’s mission of preparing nurse leaders to excel as clinicians, researchers and educators.

    The MSN nurse midwifery specialty track is restarted, and the first cohort of nurse midwifery students begin classes in Fall 2022, under the leadership of Dr. Sharon Holley, MSN Nurse Midwifery Pathway Director.

    The Dual DNP/PhD Pathway is launched in the Fall semester.

    The BSN program is ranked #10 in the inaugural U.S. News and World Reports Best Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs.

    All academic programs have reviewed curricula for DEI content and identify content and learning experiences to integrate into curricula.

    School of Nursing faculty, staff and students serve as volunteers during the World Games, held in Birmingham in July.

    The National League for Nursing (NLN) redesignates the UAB School of Nursing as an NLN Center of Excellence for an additional four years.


    The Birmingham Chapter of the American Assembly of Men in Nursing partners with UAB Hospital to form the nation’s first AAMN Chapter-At-Large, in February.

    The School of Nursing’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion holds the first DEI Development Day Workshop, featuring keynotes and concurrent sessions with local and national experts.

    The Archives and Museum Team collaborates with the Birmingham Black Nurses Association (BBNA) to develop a display honoring the history and accomplishments of the BBNA. The February meeting of the BBNA is hosted by the UAB School of Nursing to celebrate Black History Month and share the BBNA display with members.

    The BSN program is ranked #9 by U.S. News and World Reports Best Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program.

    Dean Maria Shirey is selected to serve on the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame Board.

    UAB School of Nursing receives a #2 ranking for National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding among public schools of nursing by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.

    Dr. J. Nicholas Odom is selected to be the first holder of the Doreen C. Harper Endowed Professorship in Nursing.