Prairie View A&M University College of Nursing began as a two-year diploma program in 1918 with an enrollment of five students. In 1922 the school expanded its program to three years and was approved by the State Board of Nurse Examiners. At this time the school provided clinical training for its students through the use of a fifty-bed hospital containing operating-room facilities. In order to meet the criteria published by the Board of Nurse Examiners in 1929, the College of Nursing established a relationship with Jefferson Davis Hospital in Houston in 1930; this allowed nursing students to get clinical experience in obstetrics and pediatrics. In 1941 training for students at Jefferson Davis expanded to include medical, surgical, and operating-room nursing. As requirements for approval from the Board of Nurse Examiners became more stringent, the college expanded its program; by 1948 the required clinical training at Jefferson Davis had increased to eighteen months. In 1951 the hospital became affiliated with the John Sealy Hospital School of Nursing, where Prairie View students received training in psychiatric nursing. In 1952 a baccalaureate program was started with twelve students under the direction of Wilmoth Loper. It became the major focus of the College of Nursing in 1957 as the diploma program, which graduated 431 students between 1928 and 1960, gradually diminished until it was phased out completely in 1960. During the 1950s the curriculum continued to grow due to affiliation with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston. During the late 1960s and 1970s expansion and change in the college's nursing program caused the school to seek more classroom and office space. In 1982 the college moved to the Texas Medical Center complex in Houston. The Pre-Clinical Division of the nursing program was located on the main campus in Prairie View, and the Clinical Division was located in Houston. In 1999 the college began offering a family nurse practitioner's master's degree. Enrollment in the Clinical Division in that year was 276; the faculty numbered 35. In addition to the Board of Nurse Examiners, the College of Nursing is accredited by the National League for Nursing and is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Southern Regional Educational Board. See also NURSING EDUCATION.
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Mary Elizabeth Carnegie, The Path We Tread: Blacks in Nursing, 1854–1984 (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1986). Nursing in the Houston Area: Past as Prologue (MS, Texas Nurses Association, Houston, 1976).
Medical Schools and Teaching Hospitals
Health and Medicine
Upper Gulf Coast
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Dorothea Webb Williams,
“Prairie View A&M University College of Nursing,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 18, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
April 9, 2002
Most Recent Revision Date:
February 22, 2022
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: