Last nursing class graduates

5/16/2006

Methodist Hospital School of Nursing graduated its final class of students on April 17 during a ceremony at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.

After an 88-year legacy, the final graduation event was a nostalgic ceremony for those who participated. With the graduation of the school’s six final students, one chapter in nursing education is closing as another begins. In its place is a nursing baccalaureate degree program, jointly offered by Methodist and the UT Health Sciences Center.

The commencement ceremony also included special recognition of Jan Harrell, Methodist School of Nursing program director, for her years of dedication and service.

As a diploma program, MHSN was established to educate registered nurses. In addition, the program prepared 288 licensed practical nurses.      

“Since 1918, Methodist Hospital School of Nursing has graduated more than 4,000 women and men who have become great nurses focused on leading and providing care for patients and making a difference in their various healthcare settings,” said Paula Spears, DNSc, RN, corporate director, professional practices and advancement for Methodist Healthcare. “I think all of our graduates would agree that this school was a special place and played a very significant part in their lives and who they have become today.”

In expectation of the school’s closing, a homecoming celebration was held in December to recognize contributions of MHSN. Nurses from all over the country attended the celebration, a luncheon held at the Hilton Hotel. The homecoming program included a look back at the student years of the alumni. Thirty-six graduates attended who had been out of school for more than 50 years. Cordelia Nuckolls Ferguson, 90, who graduated in 1936, was the graduate in attendance who had been out of school the longest.