Nursing Student presenting in class

School of Nursing


Throughout Baker University’s history, we have introduced programs to serve the changing needs of students.

Filling a Need


In August of 1991, the School of Nursing was established in the Pozez Education Center at Stormont Vail Health in Topeka, Kansas, to provide much-needed nursing education for the students in the area.

In the fall of 2015, the Higher Learning Commission approved the online Master of Science in Nursing program, which offers practicing nurses the opportunity to shape the next generation of health-care professionals. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in nursing education and nursing administration.

  • 1884 | Bishop Thomas Hubbard Vail, the first bishop of the Episcopal Dioceses of Kansas, establishes Christ Hospital in Topeka.
  • 1892 | Christ Hospital Training School for Nurses opens
  • 1895 | Jane C. Stormont Hospital and Training School for Nurses opens
  • 1930 | Vail School of Nursing opens
  • 1939 | Christ Hospital School of Nursing opens
  • 1949 | To accommodate changes in the health care industry, Jane C. Stormont Hospital and Training School for Nurses and Christ Hospital merge, forming Stormont-Vail School of Nursing.
  • 1987 | Stormont-Vail School of Nursing graduates its last class. St. Mary of the Plains College begins offering ADN, BSN and RN completion programs as a satellite campus at Stormont-Vail.
School of Nursing individuals posing with children on mission trip
  • 1990 | Baker University and Stormont-Vail sign a partnership agreement in October to begin operating Baker University School of Nursing, Stormont-Vail campus. Remaining St. Mary of the Plains students are accepted as transfers to BU as of August 1991. Dr. Elaine Harvey is appointed to continue as the dean of the Baker programs.
  • 1991 | In March, Baker University is notified that proposed nursing programs received approval/accreditation from the Kansas State Board of Nursing and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Programs to be offered include three degree options, the ADN, BSN, and RN completion programs. In August, the first Baker nursing classes begin for 103 students with 25 ADN, 68 BSN and 10 RN-BSN enrolled. In December, 17 ADN, 5 BSN, and 1 RN-BSN students, who transferred from the St. Mary of the Plains program, graduate from the Baker University.
Nurse with heart hands
  • 1992 | BUSN receives initial accreditation by the National League for Nursing.
  • 1993 | The May graduating class achieves 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses.
  • 1994 | Founding dean Dr. Elaine Harvey retires and Dr. Mary Alice Turley takes over as the second dean. Total enrollment in the school reaches 171 students. The May graduates achieve a 100 percent pass rate.
  • 1996 | In May, the ADN program closes. In December, Dr. Turley retires as dean and Ms. Kay Osinski becomes interim dean.
  • 1997 | In September, Dr. Kathleen Harr becomes the third dean. The nursing faculty agree to file a letter of intent to become accredited by the new Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, a subsidiary of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Nursing student using stethoscope to check heart beat of child patient
  • 1998 | Accreditation is continued by the National League for Nursing. A two-year interim report is required.
  • 1999 | The December graduates achieve 100-percent first-time pass rate on the NCLEX. Spring enrollment dips to an all time low with 72 students.
  • 2000 | The National League Accrediting Commission interim report is accepted with continued accreditation.
  • 2001 | An on-site evaluation team from the CCNE provides a positive review; accreditation is granted in October. The KSBN grants continued approval.
  • 2002 | The nursing program receives a positive review of its assessment program by the team visiting from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • 2005 | The May graduating class has a 100 percent pass rate on the NCLEX.
  • 2007 | During the fall semester, the METI human patient simulator is purchased and the simulation lab is established in conjunction with Stormont-Vail. Simulation sessions in the lab are scheduled beginning in Spring 2008. A METI video is created, demonstrating students caring for Hal or Hallie.
Nursing graduates marching at commencement
  • 2009 | In March, Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center achieves magnet recognition for excellence in nursing from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Baker School of Nursing graduates its 1,000th student during the May commencement ceremonies at the Collins Center.
  • 2010 | In October, Baker celebrates the 20th anniversary of the School of Nursing. Administration, faculty and staff prepare for a 10-year on-site evaluation by the CCNE. Fall enrollment reaches 171 for the first time since spring 1994. In addition to the dean and two administrative faculty members, there are 15 teaching faculty, seven adjuncts and three staff.
  • 2015 | In July, Dr. Kathleen Harr retires as the dean of the School of Nursing. In August, Dr. Bernadette Fetterolf becomes the fourth dean.
  • 2016 | Baker University offers the Master of Science in Nursing degree. The first cohort begins courses in January.
  • 2017 | The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) granted accreditation to Baker’s Master of Science in Nursing program.
  • 2020 | In August Dr. Mary Hobus begins her responsibilities as the dean of the School of Nursing.
  • 2022 | In January, longtime School of Nursing professor Dr. Libby Rosen begins her responsibilities as the dean of the School of Nursing.
Nursing student taking vitals of dental patient
School of nursing professor helping student

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