As Nursing Studies at Edinburgh marks 60 years of higher education leadership, we look back at some of the milestones and pioneers.

For six decades, Edinburgh has been at the centre of an international movement to raise the status and professionalism of nursing, beginning with the introduction of the first Nurse Teaching Unit at a British university in 1956.

The University rapidly followed this with the UK’s first nursing degree, the UK’s first nursing research unit, and Europe’s first Professor of Nursing Studies.

For every year from 2005 to 2015 Nursing Studies at Edinburgh was ranked top in the UK in the respected Guardian University guide’s league table for nursing and midwifery.

In 2016, a series of events, including an alumni conference, will mark Nursing Studies’ 60th celebrations.

In our interactive timeline, we mark out a selection of the many historic people and events that have helped establish Edinburgh’s reputation. We hope some of our milestones trigger fond memories, and we also hope you will suggest additions to our timeline, to create an ever-growing record of Nursing Studies at Edinburgh, built with the help of alumni who witnessed history being made first hand.

Help us build
our timeline

We’d love to receive contributions to add to History Makers: nursing ambition. Tell us about the part you played in the history of Nursing Studies, or about a person, creation or event that deserves a place. Please use the comments box below, and we will add your recollections to the timeline where appropriate. Please also email us any photographs to be included in the timeline entries: editor.edit@edit.ed.ac.uk

1956
First British University to set up a nurse teaching unit

First British University to set up a nurse teaching unit

With support of the Rockefeller Foundation and the World Health Organization (WHO) the Nurse Teaching Unit was established within the Faculty of Arts in 1956.

1956
Elsie Stephenson appointed First Director of nursing studies in Europe

Elsie Stephenson appointed First Director of nursing studies in Europe

Elsie Stephenson became the first Director of the Nursing Studies Unit in 1956.

1960
Integrated degree (five-year MA)

Integrated degree (five-year MA)

The Nursing Studies Unit developed “a system of education and training for women who will later occupy positions of leadership”.

1962
International School of Advanced Nursing Studies founded

International School of Advanced Nursing Studies founded

The International School was described as “the first of its kind in the world” by the Secretary of the University in 1962.

1971
First nursing research unit at a British University

First nursing research unit at a British University

The Nursing Research Unit was launched at Edinburgh, enabling research into hospital and community patient care, and into the organisational structure of nursing.

1971
First Professor of Nursing Studies in Europe

First Professor of Nursing Studies in Europe

Margaret Scott Wright succeeded Elsie Stephenson as Director of the Nursing Studies Unit.

1978
Nursing research scholarships for Edinburgh graduates

Nursing research scholarships for Edinburgh graduates

A fund was set up with a bequest by Elsie Stephenson’s husband, William Gardner, to support nursing research, fellowships and activities.

1983
Professor Annie Altschul

Professor Annie Altschul

As the University marked its 400th anniversary, Nursing Studies joined in by inviting all of its graduates to enjoy a day of memorabilia, discussion groups and a lecture by Professor Annie Altschul.

2010
Online learning in Africa

Online learning in Africa

Nursing Studies has been working closely with the University’s College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine to develop online undergraduate and postgraduate programmes for the Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN), at the University of Malawi.

2005 - 2015
Nursing Studies at Edinburgh best in the UK

Nursing Studies at Edinburgh best in the UK

Nursing Studies at Edinburgh was ranked top in the UK in the respected Guardian University guide’s league table for nursing and midwifery.

2016
Edinburgh to host Royal College of Nursing's International Research Conference

Edinburgh to host Royal College of Nursing's International Research Conference

In April 2016 the Royal College of Nursing International Research Conference will be held in Edinburgh to celebrate 60 years of nursing at the University and 100 years of the RCN itself.

Join our 60th Celebrations

In November 2016 the University is holding an alumni conference to mark the 60th anniversary of Nursing Studies. The event will celebrate the leaps taken during each of the six decades of our history. To register your interest, email Laura Marshall:
l.marshall@ed.ac.uk

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