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History

Drexel University's College of Nursing and Health Professions has a rich history with deep roots throughout Philadelphia. What initially started as the Hahnemann Hospital Training School for Nurses and a hospital-based nursing program at Woman’s Hospital of Philadelphia, is now one of the nation’s leading schools for nursing and health professions education.

For more than 100 years, Drexel University's nationally-ranked College of Nursing and Health Professions has provided an innovative learning environment for students to develop skills in evidence-based practice, teaching, medical informatics, research, and leadership in the healthcare industry. Hospital-based nursing programs began at the Woman’s Hospital of Philadelphia affiliated with the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1863. Thought to be considered the first, state-chartered school for nurses in the country, scholars argue that other programs started in 1873 would have been the first since they were started under the “Florence Nightingale Principles” requiring more stringent training.

In 1867, Female Medical College of Pennsylvania became Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. The Hospital of the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania was established in 1904. The nurse training program at the Hospital of the Woman’s Medical College was part of the plan for this new hospital from the onset, graduating its first three nurses in 1906.

From 1890 to 2002, the Hahnemann Hospital Training School for Nurses, Woman’s Medical College Hospital School of Nursing and the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry developed their academic offerings simultaneously yet separately. Drexel was among the leaders in education throughout the early 20th century, pioneering the co-operative education model as one of the first institutes in the country to adopt the forward-thinking practice. In 1936, the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry became Drexel Institute of Technology. Then, in 1970, the institute adopted the finite and reputable name of Drexel University.

Hahnemann also experienced a myriad of changes since they first opened their doors in 1890 as the Hahnemann Hospital Training School for Nurses. In 1968, the College of Allied Health Professions was created to educate students to provide extended patient care. The nursing diploma school continued until 1975 when it converted to undergraduate degree programs within the School of Allied Health Professions. In 1976, Hahnemann's Graduate School was formalized, incorporating both the science programs (MS and PhD) and a wide array of graduate programs in clinical professions, primarily in areas of mental health. In 1993, the Medical College of Pennsylvania School of Medicine merged with Hahnemann to become MCP – Hahnemann University. In 1996, Schools of Nursing and Health Professions were named.

Finally, in 2002, with the joint participation of Tenet Healthcare, the two institutions merged and formed Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions.

Since its inception, Drexel Nursing and Health Professions has been committed to challenging best practices through its pragmatic research, patient-centered approaches and real-world applications and outcomes.