Celebrating 75 Years of Nursing

The College of Nursing at MSU will celebrate its 75th anniversary this year. Festivities will occur throughout the year across the state to honor the milestone and the people that made it happen.

Several receptions are scheduled to celebrate the College of Nursing. On Feb. 16, there will be a reception for alumni, students and community partners in Kalispell, Mont.

“This will essentially be a birthday party,” said Kay LaFrance, the program assistant for the College of Nursing.

There will be a formal dinner event in Bozeman on Sept. 21 and a float will be built and entered in the homecoming parade.

There are several new things planned for the College of Nursing.

Recently, the program for the first group of accelerated students (those students who currently have a degree in another field and are now going into nursing as well) has begun and the second group will enter the Great Falls program in May. These intensive nursing programs will allow for groups of 16 students to receive degrees in 15 months.

There are also plans to implement the only Doctorate of Nursing Practice graduate program in the state of Montana.

LaFrance explained the program’s history, “It was founded in 1937. Prior to that, nursing education was done primarily in the Great Falls hospital,” she said.  “This nursing program was the first done in a university setting in the state of Montana.

Once nursing students finish their core requirements, they go to Missoula, Kalispell, Great Falls or Billings for clinical access. This stage of the university’s nursing program is rather competitive.

Only a limited number of students are allowed to move past pre-nursing, based on GPA. However, those students who do make it through have a 90 percent success rate in the future of their nursing education.