Fact Book Profile: School of Nursing

History and Purpose

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing, established in 1890 as part of the John Sealy Hospital Training School for Nurses in Galveston, is one of the oldest schools of nursing in the southwestern United States. The baccalaureate nursing program of the UT System expanded to Houston in 1972, the same year that UTHealth came into being. The UT School of Nursing was organized in 1972 and began offering the master of nursing degree in the same year. In 1976, the system structure dissolved and the School of Nursing was reorganized under the control of the health science center. The School initiated the Doctor of Science in Nursing degree program in 1995 and the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program in 2006.

Instructional Programs

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The School of Nursing offers an undergraduate program leading to the degree of bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). The undergraduate program is designed for students who wish to enter the profession of nursing and for nurses who have earned an associate degree or diploma in nursing and desire to obtain the baccalaureate degree. The three-semester RN-BSN program requires a summer or spring semester start. The school offers an accelerated BSN (15 months) for summer-semester starts. In summer 2010, the School began offering the “Pacesetter” option in the four-semester Accelerated BSN curriculum. During their final semester, Pacesetters have full-time clinical rotations over 16 weeks to truly “live the life of a nurse.” The more intense clinical experience in the Pacesetter option is intended to produce a more “job-ready” BSN graduate. A new dual-degree program will allow freshmen entering the University of Houston to earn credit hours toward both a bachelor’s degree from UH and a BSN from the UT School of Nursing, so that program participants should be able to complete both degrees within five years.

Master of Science in Nursing

The master’s program (MSN) is designed for nurses who have the baccalaureate degree in nursing and wish to prepare for advanced practice in a specialized area with role preparation as clinical specialists, educators, administrators, or nurse practitioners.

Six program options are available in the MSN degree program:

  • Adult/Gerontology Acute Care
  • Adult/Gerontology Primary Care
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Anesthesia
  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Leadership and Administration in Health Systems


A cooperative degree option of MSN/MPH is offered jointly by the School of Nursing and School of Public Health. Post-master’s certification courses are also available.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

In 1995, the school was approved to implement a doctor of science in nursing (DSN) degree program. This research doctoral degree title was changed to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in September 2007 for past, present and future graduates.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

The UT School of Nursing at Houston was the first in Texas to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree and graduated the first DNP class in the state in May 2009. The DNP degree program is a cutting-edge practice doctorate that prepares advanced practice nurses with depth and breadth of knowledge and competencies to be clinical scholars recognized for outstanding direct patient care and leadership in nursing practice and healthcare organizations. This post-master’s degree program admits nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and nurse anesthetists. Both part-time and full-time options are available. The DNP curriculum includes 32-43 credit hours and is designed to meet the educational needs of busy, working advanced practice nurses.

Starting in the summer 2014 semester, UTHealth School of Nursing will be the first and only public university in the state to offer a nine-semester program from the BSN degree to a DNP in Nurse Anesthesia. The new BSN to DNP curriculum, approved by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, will be 112 credits and nine semesters (36 months).

Facilities and Affiliations

Clinical learning experience is available within other UT components in the Texas Medical Center and in the broader community. Affiliate institutions include: the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, TIRR Memorial Hermann, UT Harris County Psychiatric Center and other healthcare facilities. Students also have opportunities for learning experiences in neighborhood health centers, nursing homes, day care centers, city and county health departments, mental health facilities and physicians’ offices and clinics.

A unique opportunity for clinical training is offered by UT Health Services (UTHS), established in 1991.

UT Health Services is located at 7000 Fannin, 16th floor. This clinic provides comprehensive primary care across the life span, occupational medicine, health education, travel medicine and laboratory services to individuals within the university and to the larger community. The providers are nurse practitioners, and a physician periodically is available in clinic to meet any additional medical needs. Contact 713-500-3267 or go to www.UTHealthservices.com for more information.

source: David Bates, School of Nursing

Organizational Chart

School of Nursing Organization

source: David Bates, School of Nursing