A TIMELINE: History of Graceland Nursing

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Horizons - Spring 2019

May 10, 2019

Oh, the nostalgia!

1909 

Sponsoring church Community of Christ (then RLDS) opens the Independence Sanitarium and Hospital (“the San”) less than 50 yards from where Graceland’s Independence campus currently resides.

1910

The Independence Sanitarium and Hospital opens a school of nursing.

1960

At the Community of Christ (then RLDS) World Conference, the church affirms its interest in extending the Graceland campus to Independence with the desire to provide a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

1965

Nelle Morgan, director of the San’s diploma nursing program, receives a grant to fund an investigation in creating a bachelor’s degree, and Margaret McKevit is selected as project director for the study.

1967

The Board of Trustees of the Independence Sanitarium and Hospital vote to make its clinical facilities available to Graceland.

1968

Graceland president William T. Higdon announces the creation of a baccalaureate degree program in nursing. Students were to complete two years at the Lamoni campus, then pursue their last two years of technical and lab coursework at the Independence Sanitarium and Hospital.

Margaret McKevit becomes the first person to chair Graceland’s Division of Nursing.

1969

Graceland’s nursing major attracts 70 students, as juniors first enroll in the baccalaureate program in Independence.

1970

McKevit Manor is initiated as the residence hall “House” for nursing students in Independence.

1973

Graceland’s Independence campus, now called the Independence Education Center, is moved from the San to 9900 E. Winner Road.

1987

Graceland establishes a distance learning RN-BSN program, the first national accredited program of its kind.

1993

Graceland’s Independence Education Center moves to the Central Professional Building at 221 W. Lexington on the Independence Square.

1994

Sherri Kirkpatrick is promoted to vice president and dean of nursing becoming Graceland’s first vice president to be located on the Independence campus.

1995

Graceland begins offering a Master of Science in Nursing degree, the first master’s degree Graceland offers.

1997

Construction begins on Graceland’s permanent Independence campus location at 1401 W. Truman Road.

1998

Construction is completed on the Independence campus.

2011

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program enrolls its first cohort.

2017

Graceland adds a Master of Science in Nursing in adult gerontology and acute care nursing practice.


199 – The number of students who completed the diploma nursing program at the Independence Sanitarium and Hospital prior to the initiation of Graceland’s baccalaureate program.


Black and white of group of nursing students from the early 1900s in uniform

Nurses enrolled in the school of nursing at the Independence Sanitarium and Hospital.

 

 

 

 

 

Black and white of two nursing students and a nursing professor in the 1960s in uniform going over nursing materials

Associate Professor of Nursing Paula Cokington, RN, MSN, and students Joseph Carney `79 and Kathleen Frazier `80.

 

 

 

 

Nursing Pin: Graceland University Nursing

The Graceland Nursing Pin was designed by Iola Tordoff. The first 12 students received their nursing pins in May 1971.

 

 

 

 

Black and white of Graceland College Independence Education Center sign from the 1960s

Graceland’s Independence Education Center (IEC). Winner Road location.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black and white of two female nursing students studying their books independently.

Nursing students studying at IEC, 1980.

 

 

 

 

 

Black and white of nursing professor pinning a graduating nursing student

The Nurses Pinning Ceremony signifies the completion of academic requirements and the preparation for service in the profession. Kirkpatrick awards the nursing pin, 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An architectural rendering showing the north elevation of the Independence campus. The contractor selected to oversee construction was J.E. Dunn of Kansas City. The estimated cost was $8.5 million, with funding from operations and a bonds issue.

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