Educate and Inspire:
The MUSC College of Nursing

Changing Faces… Changing Roles…

The Changing Face of Nursing

In the decades following World War II nursing rules, roles, and responsibilities began to change at the Medical College and elsewhere. Changes effected during the 1940s, including allowing nursing students to marry and to increase the number of class hours to more than 1,100, were followed by more and dramatic changes in the 1950s.

The 1950 catalogue was the first to set aspirations for nursing education at the Medical College, which would emphasize “learning to give quality nursing care and the development of the student as an individual.” By the end of the decade the school was hiring new faculty who were trained nurse educators.

During the 1960s the number of faculty, students and administrative support was increased and by 1965 the school began the process of phasing out the three-year hospital training program in favor of a four-year collegiate program, which would confer the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. In 1969 the Medical College was redesignated as The Medical University of South Carolina and the School of Nursing became the College of Nursing, one of six colleges making up the University. That same year Dr. Marcia Curtis became the college's first dean with an advanced degree. Dean Curtis was a progressive and forward-thinking leader who also established the nursing graduate program at MUSC in 1976.

By the 1970s social and political changes were being felt at the College as in other parts of America. In addition to the earlier improvements to the curriculum and educational credentials of its faculty, the College of Nursing integrated women of color and men into its student body.

In the decades after World War II, the College of Nursing witnessed the evolution of its mission, improved the caliber of its faculty, enhanced the curriculum and preparation of its students, and engaged a diverse student body. These positive steps would continue as the 20th century closed and the 21st century began.