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Orvis School of Nursing at the University of Nevada, Reno celebrates 50 years of excellence in nursing education.

In the early 1950s, Nevada was the only state in the Union that did not have a nursing education program. In 1954, UNR sought assistance from the U.S. Public Health Service to initiate a survey on nursing needs and resources. At the time of the survey, Nevada had 637 full-time nurses and the survey indicated "a deficit of nursing personnel" in Nevada. During the same time period, Reno resident Arthur Orvis experienced a brief hospitalization and noticed that there were no student nurses.

In 1955, the UNR President, University Board of Regents and the Nevada State Legislature authorized and established a school of nursing on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. With the backing and philanthropy of many concerned citizens, including Arthur Orvis and his wife Mae Orvis, the Orvis School of Nursing was founded. In a letter to University President Minard W. Stout dated December 15, 1955, Arthur Orvis said, "As mentioned to you on several occasions, I desire to give $100,000 to the University of Nevada for the establishment of a department to be known as the 'Orvis School of Nursing.' This is a free will offering with no strings attached."

The University proceeded quickly in finding the personnel who could develop the nursing program, and in 1956, the first Dean of the Orvis School of Nursing, Dr. Doris Yingling, began work to develop the school. The following year, 1957, the Orvis School of Nursing opened as the first nursing education program in the State of Nevada with twelve students and five nursing faculty, pioneering baccalaureate-level nursing education in our State.

With the beginning of the Fall 2007 academic semester, the Orvis School of Nursing began celebrating its 50th year of providing quality nursing education to the citizens of Nevada. As the leader in nursing education in Nevada, the Orvis School of Nursing was the first to:

* Offer a four-year baccalaureate degree nursing program

* Offer a totally online RN to BSN program

* Offer a fast-track BSN program for second-degree students

* Offer a master's degree program

* Offer a Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Public Health combined degree program

* Serve as a sponsor and mentor for the nursing programs established at UNLV and Nevada State College

* Open the only nurse-managed clinic in Nevada

The times and the look of the uniform may have changed, but after fifty years the Orvis School of Nursing continues to provide quality nursing education for the state of Nevada and beyond. Graduates number over 1000 who hold BSN or MSN degrees from the UNR-Orvis School of Nursing and who serve as nursing leaders, clinicians, practitioners, researchers, and educators within the state of Nevada and across the country.

In keeping with the UNR slogan "University of Nevada, Statewide-Worldwide," the Orvis School of Nursing has had several international collaborations, including working with nursing faculty in Russia and, most recently, hosting students from the University of Hiroshima, Japan this past summer. As we begin our next 50 years, the Orvis School of Nursing looks toward the progressive use of simulation technology, development of futuristic programs and the conduct of cutting-edge nursing research to meet the nursing workforce needs of Nevada and beyond.

(The Orvis School of Nursing includes the Orvis Nursing Clinic, a nurse-managed clinic that provides health care to the un- and under-insured in the Reno.)

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Title Annotation:State Activities
Publication:Nevada RNformation
Geographic Code:1U8NV
Date:Feb 1, 2008
Previous Article:Journey to Magnet status.
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