History & More

The Founding

Founded in 1789, Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic, Jesuit institution of higher learning in the United States.  Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies was established in 1903.

Originally named the Georgetown University Hospital Training School for Nurses, the school was created to educate a nursing workforce for the hospital, which had been founded in 1898.


The diploma program was expanded in 1944 to provide a five-year nursing baccalaureate program.  Study was comprised of two years of general education followed by three years of nursing.

An integrated four-year baccalaureate program with a nursing major was established at Georgetown in 1951.  That same year, the school was established as an independent school within Georgetown University.

A New Name

Nearly 50 years later, in 2000, the university's Board of Directors approved a name change from the School of Nursing to the School of Nursing & Health Studies.

The change reflected a broadening of the school's academic programs, which are now housed in five academic departments:

  • Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Health Systems Administration
  • Human Science
  • International Health
  • Professional Nursing Practice

Renovated Home

In 2002, the multimillion-dollar renovation of St. Mary's Hall, the school's home since the mid-1950s, finished, and the fully modernized building re-opened.

The renovated building includes the O'Neill Family Foundation Clinical Simulation Center, a leading core facility that houses high-fidelity patient simulators, examination rooms, and hospital units for dynamic learning and research.

Centennial and Departments

Then in 2003, NHS celebrated a century's worth of progress during its Centennial, which took as its theme, "100 Years Facing the Future."  Also that year, the Board of Directors formalized the school's academic department structure.

Since the Centennial, the Discovery Center - a state-of-art research and teaching laboratory - opened in 2006 through the generosity and leadership of the school's Parents Council. 

First Online Degree Program

And in 2011, the school introduced an innovative online graduate initiative at the master's degree level nursing. This is the university's first-ever distance education degree program. Others have been added on campus since our program launched.