School of Nursing Celebrates 70th Anniversary, Honors First Graduates

By Alana V. Allen / 11/07/2023 Alumni, College of Health and Human Sciences, Nursing

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Nov. 7, 2023) – The School of Nursing celebrated its 70 years on the campus of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with an event at this year’s homecoming organized by the School of Nursing Affinity Group (SONAG).

The School of Nursing was established in fall 1953 and is housed in the John R. and Kathy R. Hairston College of Health and Human Sciences.

During the anniversary celebrations, SONAG honored the first 15 School of Nursing graduates who received their nursing degrees in 1957: Dorothy Chavis, Betty Cox, Ernestine Biggs Denegall, Delores Watson Estes, Burdia Gwynn, Nora Hardy, Alice F. Oliver, Gertrude McAdoo, Julia Perkins, Bettie Wilson Reaves, Ranova Satterwhite, Joyce Lorick Summey, Wanda Vaughn, Vivian Vereen and Ethel Wright. Denegall, Estes, Reaves and Summey attended virtually via Zoom.

The school also recognized notable alumni and those who have contributed to nursing endowments and scholarships. As a SONAG tradition, Aggie nurses who passed away in the past year were remembered, as well.

Tiffany Morris, DNP, M.S. Ed., MSN, BSN, director of nursing and Clara Ender Adam-Ender Endowed Associate Professor of Nursing, provided School of Nursing updates at the celebration.

The School of Nursing boasts 100% job placement and has been named one of the most affordable nursing schools in North Carolina.

In September 2023, the school celebrated having a 92% overall pass rate for the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse for the 2022-23 graduating class. Its curriculum uses state-of-the-art technology at the Union Square campus to educate future nurses based on current theory, research and evidence-based practice.

The School of Nursing is also developing a new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, with specializations in transformational leadership and psychiatry/mental health. Establishment of the DNP program is a key step in diversifying the health care workforce and addressing inequities in health care access.

“The DNP programs will be essential in creating nurse leaders and advancing nursing practice and skills to continue N.C. A&T’s mission of advancing health equity in the Triad region and the state of North Carolina,” said Morris.

Since 2009, SONAG has been a support system for students and alumni in the field of nursing. Founded by Erma Smith King, Ph.D., ’74, SONAG provides consultation and advice to the department, helps with the recruitment of qualified faculty and students and offers scholarships as well as a professional network of alumni.

“I was a non-traditional student when I came to A&T. My grandmother was an Aggie and she had been a nurse,” said Dana Hines ’00. “So it is with great appreciation as the immediate past president of SONAG to give back to a school that has given so much to me. The ability to pay it forward to the next generation of nurses and to my alma mater is my greatest joy.”

SONAG has been instrumental in engaging alumni to stay connected to the School of Nursing and give back to the program through their time, talent and treasure.

“I always knew I wanted to be a nurse. When I was a teenager, I volunteered with the hospital and fell in love with the field,” said Lakisa Ballard ‘05, SONAG president. “It is an honor to serve in the capacity of president of SONAG because it allows me to give back to my alma mater and share my expertise on Black maternal mortality rates.”

To ensure a continued legacy of being one of the top-ranking nursing programs in the country, the School of Nursing relies on the generosity of alumni to provide resources for scholarships, new faculty and staff hires, and state-of-the-art educational infrastructure to help prepare students to meet the needs of an ever-evolving health care landscape.

To learn more about ways you, your class or a group of friends can support the School of Nursing, contact the Office of Development by clicking here.

Three of the first School of Nursing students practice on a mannequin

Media Contact Information: avallen@ncat.edu

Headlines, College News, All News