graduating class photo from the archives


Nebraska Methodist College is the only nursing and allied health college in Omaha that has operated continuously since its beginning in 1891. One hundred years ago, the mission of the deaconesses who began a training school for six young women was simple: Provide care and comfort to the patients. As the College is into its second century of operations, the mission is much the same, but how and what was taught bears little resemblance to the curriculum for that small band of women who in 1893 became the hospital’s first graduating class of nurses.

Modern medicine and technological advances of the new century present new challenges. The early 1980s saw a dramatic nationwide decrease in the number of hospital-affiliated diploma schools and the rise of four-year baccalaureate programs. The healthcare provider of the past did not have a broad background in the behavioral sciences, liberal arts, social sciences and other humanities which help a caregiver to understand the behavior of people in need. In June 1985, the Board of Trustees approved changing the existing School of Nursing to a degree granting institution with the authority to develop degree programs in the allied health professions. The long-popular three-year Nursing diploma program was eliminated, and the first baccalaureate degrees were awarded in the spring of 1989. The school’s name was changed from the School of Nursing to the Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and Allied Health.

Through a series of strategic planning efforts, a long-range plan was established that resulted in steady growth of the young college in terms of both student headcount and program offerings. Central in the planning was an intentional effort to diversify the program offerings through the addition of important allied health programs. The addition of allied health students to the campus facilitated the diversification of the student body and also the realization of the College mission. The transition from a school to a college and the addition of new programs, as well as steady growth of the student body was accomplished smoothly, without any interruptions in the educational process.

In September 2005, the new Josie Harper Campus of Nebraska Methodist College was opened, marking a major milestone in the history and development of Nebraska Methodist College. The Riley-Leinart Center, a 26,000 square foot building, primarily serves as an office building for faculty, staff and administrative personnel. This center also houses some classrooms and the Nursing Skills Laboratory. The Clark Center, a 75,000 square foot building, opened in January 2006. The Clark Center houses many areas critical to the success of the College such as the classrooms, laboratories, common areas, bookstore, library, computer lab, student health center, fitness center, and student center. Opened in August 2007, students were able to enjoy the convenience of on-campus living at Josie’s Village.

1891: Diploma School of Nursing Founded
1956: First Nursing Accreditation
1985: Authorized as a degree granting institution
1987: First North Central (NCA) Accreditation
1987: Opened the Allied Health Division
1988: Incorporated as College
1989: First Baccalaureate Degrees Awarded
1991: First Allied Health Accreditation
1991: Baccalaureate Nursing Accreditation
1995: All Allied Health Programs Accredited
1995: Listed by United Methodist Church Senate
1996: Masters Degree Authorization
1997: Masters Degree in Health Promotion
2000: Masters Degree in Nursing - Education
2001: Masters Degree in Allied Health
2001: Capital Campaign initiated "Josie Harper Campus"
2002: AQIP Accreditation
2004: Ground Breaking for Josie Harper Campus
2006: Grand Opening of Josie Harper Campus
2007: Masters Degree in Medical Group Administration
2007: Capital Campaign initiated Student Housing
2007: First Residents in Josie's Village Apartments
2008: Masters Degree in Nursing - Executive
2008: Physical Therapist Assistant Program
2008: Surgical Technology Associate Program
2009: Reaffirmation of Accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission
2013: Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree Authorization
2015: Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation
2015: Master of Occupational Therapy Degree Authorization
2015: TRIO Student Support Services Grant
2016: Reaffirmation of Accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission
2016: Doctor of Education Degree Authorization
2016: Master of Business Administration in Healthcare
2017: Math & Science Upward Bound Grant