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Nursing Department Records

Identifier: UA 0006
  • Not requestable

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

The JMU Nursing Department Records, 1951-2015, consists of 20 boxes documenting the creation and growth of nursing at JMU. This collection contains scrapbooks, documents, letters, studies, and photographs that helped spark the interest for a nursing program at Madison College in 1951. Proposals for new curriculums, order forms for uniforms, photographs of graduating classes and faculty, newspaper and magazine articles discussing student nurses, are all included within the collection. Other materials include faculty business minutes, grants for training and special projects, budget documents, correspondence between staff and students (letters and emails), nursing program policies, and information on pinning ceremonies held by the department. Please note that some folders are restricted and are marked in the inventory below. These folders are restricted due to individual student records.


  • 1951-2015


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact research services staff at before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

Copyright for materials authored or otherwise produced as official business of James Madison University is retained by James Madison University. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user. For more information, contact the Special Collections Reference Desk (

Staff have taken special care to identify and remove sensitive materials, particularly those relating to students' academic records, found within this collection. However, in rare instances, privacy protected information may be revealed during use of this collection. Researchers agree to make no notes or other recordation of privacy protected information if found within this collection, and further agree not to publish or disclose such information for any purpose. Researchers agree to alert Special Collections staff if potentially privacy protected information is found within this collection. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Administrative History

Prior to the development of a nursing program, Madison College offered pre-nursing courses to students who then transferred to other baccalaureate nursing programs. Interest in developing a full baccalaureate degree program began to increase in the 1960s, when a national trend of hospital nursing school closures came to Harrisonburg when the Rockingham Memorial Hospital (RMH) School of Nursing officially closed in 1970.

In May 1972, Madison College President, Dr. Ronald E. Carrier, submitted a proposal to the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) to develop a nursing program at the College. It was not until 1979 that SCHEV granted permission to activate the program. Dr. Marcia Dake was appointed the fourth director, later dean, of Nursing Education in July 1979 and served in this role until 1988. The first students entered the program in the fall of 1980 and 21 of these students made up the first graduating class in spring 1982.

In fall 1982, the Department of Nursing received full accreditation from the National League for Nursing (NLN). After reorganization within the university, the department joined the new College of Health and Human Development in 1988, later merging with the College of Health and Behavioral Studies in 1994. Opting for new accreditation at the end of the 1990s, the department was granted full accreditation by the newly formed Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in April 1999. In collaboration with Eastern Mennonite University’s Nursing Program, the department was granted the Pi Mu at-large chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, International (STTI) Nursing Honor Society in 2000.

Expanding on the nursing program, the department implemented a new Master of Science degree with nurse practitioner and nurse educator concentrations in 2004, with the first cohort graduating in 2006. The department received full 10-year reaccreditation of all programs from the CCNE in 2009. In 2010, SCHEV granted approval for the development of a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at JMU. In 2013, the Department of Nursing implemented online learning for the DNP and RN-BSN programs. The department also operates a Chronic Illness minor open to all undergraduate students.


8.26 cubic feet (23 boxes)

Language of Materials



Consists of meeting minutes, correspondence, studies, grants, photographs, and scrapbooks documenting the creation and growth of the Department of Nursing at James Madison University.


The collection is arranged in the following five series. All series arranged chronologically except Series 2: Grants, and Series 3: Subject Files, which are arranged alphabetically.

  1. Faculty, 1975-2014 (bulk 1975-2001)
  2. Grants, 1972-1981
  3. Subject Files, 1951-2015
  4. Photographs, 1980-2015 (bulk 1982-1999)
  5. Scrapbooks, 2000-2007

Acquisition Information

Records were transferred by the JMU Nursing Department in November 2013 after Erica Lewis, then Assistant Professor in the Department of Nursing, found several boxes labeled “nursing history” in the basement in a storage room near her office. Another portion of the collection was transferred to Special Collections in December 2016 by Michele Dombrowski, Outreach Coordinator in the School of Nursing. In August 2018, an addition was transferred consisting of multiple Nursing Student Association scrapbooks, loose photos, and records.

Appraisal Note

One box of 2006-2010 student records from the 2013 transfer was returned to the transferring office due to FERPA laws. Several papers from the 2016 and 2018 transfer were not retained due to the presence of privacy protected information and medical records. These papers included student lists from fall 1992, fall 1993, 1994, and 1996-1998 that listed nursing juniors and seniors with their contact information and academic advisors. Papers found containing student education records were also not retained. In addition, duplicate copies of The Breeze and JMU News containing articles relating to the Department of Nursing in the 1980s and 1990s, already held by Special Collections, were discarded. Several class photos that were received in frames were unframed and the frames were discarded.


  • School of Nursing History as found in the Collection Control File.
A Guide to the JMU Nursing Department Records, 1951-2015
Cara Lundgren, Brianna Melchione, Selena St. Andre
June 2014, 2015, June 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2015: Revised by Brianna Melchione
  • June 2018: Revised and updated by Selena St. Andre
  • August 2018: Updated by Selena St. Andre

Repository Details

Part of the James Madison University Libraries Special Collections Repository

820 Madison Drive
MSC 1706
Harrisonburg Virginia 22807
(540) 568-3612