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Marian University

History of Nursing at Marian University

Prior to establishing an independent accredited nursing program, Marian University partnered with St.Vincent Hospital Diploma Program to provide the means for collegiate education. In 1974, a community needs assessment headed by Louis B. Gatto, college president, revealed the need to provide a program to transition licensed practical nursing (LPN) to the registered nurse (RN) with an Associate degree (AN) and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) education for the licensed RN.

Marian University, formerly Marian College, has offered a program of study for nursing at the baccalaureate level since 1979. The original program was designed for registered nurses to obtain a baccalaureate degree. In May 1980, the first class of baccalaureate degree students graduated.

The Indiana State Board of Nursing (ISBN) approved the traditional four-year baccalaureate program in 1987. Initial five-year accreditation by the National League for Nursing (NLN) was granted in 1992. Esther O’Dea, RN, PhD, who became the chairperson of the Department of Nursing in 1990, and the BSN faculty accomplished this enormous task. The first class of 11 students graduated in May 1991. During this time of study and transition, it was decided to continue with the AN program and develop the BSN program while carefully monitoring student interests, enrollment, community needs, and budgetary resources.

In 1993 an accelerated track for students with degrees in other disciplines was implemented. The first class of accelerated track students graduated in May 1994.

In 1996, the name of the department was changed from the Department of Nursing to the Department of Nursing and Nutrition Sciences. After closing the food and nutrition Sciences programs in 2001 the name was changed again to the Department of Nursing.

The nursing program received a five-year accreditation status from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in 2005. The nursing faculty, advisors, and staff accomplished this time consuming and very important task.

In anticipation of the transition from college to university status, the Department of Nursing became the Marian University School of Nursing in 2007. After serving as the chairperson of the Department of Nursing since 2001, Marian Pettengill, RN, Ph.D. was named the first Dean of the School of Nursing. Anita Siccardi, Ed.D, APRN, BC was named Dean on September 1, 2009.  Karen Hardin, MSN, RN was named Director of BSN Programs in fall 2009.

On July 1, 2009, Marian College become Marian University. With emphasis on baccalaureate educated nurses from local healthcare agencies and university status, fall 2008 was the admission of the last AN class. The baccalaureate program continues to offer both the traditional and accelerated tracks for a BSN. The online accelerated BSN program was offered in the fall 2009.

In April, 2010, the School of Nursing received a ten-year accreditation status from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Educatino (CCNE).