A Historical Perspective
The Auburn University School of Nursing (AUSON) was established in 1979 and admitted the first class of 27 juniors in the fall quarter of that year. Most of the students were recruited from the pre-nursing curriculum in the School of Home Economics. There were five full-time faculty the first year. Twenty-four students were graduated in the first class in 1981.
The first Dean of the School, Mary F. Woody, served from 1979 until 1984.Upon her resignation, Dr. Carol Thompson was named Acting Dean and served in that capacity during the 1984-85 school year. Dr. H. Terri Brower served as Dean from June 1985 until March 1988 when she assumed a faculty position. Mrs. Winifred H. Worman was named Acting Dean in March 1988 and remained through May 1989. Dr. Edeth Kitchens was appointed Dean in May 1989 and served in that position till June 1996. Upon her resignation, Dr. Eleanor Howell served as Interim Dean until August 1996. Dr. Charlotte V. Skelton was appointed Interim Dean from September 1996 until 1999. On September 1, 1999, Dr. Barbara Witt assumed the position of AUSON Dean. On January 1, 2010, Dr. Gregg Newschwander was appointed Dean.
The AUSON is approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing and was accredited by the National League for Nursing (NLN) from 1981-2006. In Fall of 2006, AUSON changed accrediting agencies. The school was reviewed by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education at that time and granted the maximum approval in Spring of 2007. Accreditation was reaffirmed in a Fall 2011 review by the Commission.
The AUSON offers a Master’s of Science in Nursing which was approved by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education in Spring of 2010. The MSN has two tracks: Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator. AUSON continues to experience growth in its program offerings with the addition of RN to BSN and Doctorate of Nursing Practice programs in 2018.