In February 1957, Woman’s College established the Department of Nursing Education to administer a two-year associates degree program. This program was a collaboration between the newly-built Moses Cone Hospital and Woman’s College. It was the first associates degree in nursing education program in North Carolina and one of the first in the United States.
The Department of Nursing Education’s associates degree required students to spend two years at the college, followed by three months at Moses Cone Hospital. A mandatory summer session focused on Psychiatric Nursing was also spent at the John Umstead Hospital in Butner, NC. Classes for the program were held in the basement of the Gove Infirmary and the students lived on campus. The classes offered by the Department of Nursing Education included Fundamentals of Nursing, Maternal and Child Care Nursing, and Medical and Surgical Nursing. Additionally, students were required to take specific English, Psychology, Chemistry, Biology, Sociology, and Home Economics classes. The course load over the two years was also included two half-credit Physical Education for Nursing courses. In total, the students took 63 course hours over their two years at WC.
194 Associate Degrees in Nursing were awarded from 1959 through 1967. The 1960s, however, saw the rise of the community college system in North Carolina, and UNCG shifted its focus away from two-year associates programs (in addition to the associates degree in nursing, the college also offered a two-year commercial/business degree option). In 1967, the Department of Nursing Education its associate degree program were phased out when a full baccalaureate nursing school opened at UNCG.