Monday May 25th, 2015 7:40AM

Brenau nursing school celebrating 50th anniversary

By Staff
Related Articles
GAINESVILLE - The Brenau University School of Nursing has been educating new nurses for a half century, and the school wraps up its 50th anniversary celebration at a special event on Thursday, April 24.

Originally known as the Hall County School of Nursing, the school graduated its first class in 1963.

The celebration of the 50th anniversary is set for 5 p.m. on Thursday, at Brenau University's East Campus at the Featherbone Communiversity. At 5:45 p.m. alumni of the school of nursing will be recognized, as will be the school's first five doctoral students. There will also be a special presentation honoring one of the schools key benefactors, Anne Thomas of Gainesville. Tours of the school of nursing will follow the presentations.

"At first, the School of Nursing offered a non-collegiate diploma of nursing," said Dr. Sandra Greniewicki, interim director of the School of Nursing. "Although Brenau did not officially take over the school until 1978, Brenau partnered with the school to offer some of the academic courses required for the diploma."

Ten students were part of that first class of nurses. About 80 undergraduate nurses are expected to graduate this year.

Today the Brenau School of Nursing is a diverse, state-of-the-art program designed to prepare students to provide health care that is "sensitive to the unique health needs of individuals, families and communities."

The program, which comprises both online and classroom instruction, includes an undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Nursing and graduate programs for Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator and Nurse Leader Manager. The school also has a popular RN-to-BSN program for nurses with two-year degrees to earn a four-year undergraduate diploma. Since 2010, the university has offered a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.

Today's modern program is a far cry from what the students in the first class in 1963 experienced.

From 1960 to 1978 the Hall School of Nursing was completely owned and operated as a part of Hall County Hospital (now Northeast Georgia Medical Center), which had total control over the nursing program, including its rules and regulations on student behavior and expectations.

"It was believed that nursing was a full-time endeavor and a dedicated calling that occupied all of the students' time and effort," said Greniewicki. "During this period, the rules were modified, but nursing education continued to expect full dedication from its students."

In the early days of the school, the students lived together in a dormitory for three years. Every day, from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., they went to classes, followed physicians on their rounds and studied.

On weekends the students were enrolled in swimming, ballet and other activities by the Hall County Hospital's Ladies Auxiliary Board. The activities were designed to keep the students active and cultured. The students were not allowed to be married, and they were required to live in the dormitory, which was next door to the hospital.

The first class' uniform was a white dress, hemmed just 13 inches above the floor, white cap with stripe and a blue dress cloak. Today, Brenau's nursing students wear black scrubs emblazoned with a Brenau emblem.

Other things have changed since those early days, too. For instance, a student once was responsible for cleaning, sharpening and sterilizing needles for use the next day, something that obviously wouldn't occur today. The first class used to push a 6-foot-tall defibrillator down the hall to help patients whose hearts had stopped. Today, defibrillators are small and easy to transport.

Through a cooperative merger arrangement in 1978 between the Hall County Hospital Authority and then-Brenau College, the first four-year Bachelor of Science in nursing program was initiated for new students of nursing.

"This program also offered the nurses who had earned the diploma in nursing from Hall School of Nursing the opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing by receiving advanced placement in their studies," Greniewicki said. "Even then, the nursing students were expected to make their nursing studies and clinical experience a top priority in their lives."

By the early 1980s, the first four-year degrees in nursing were award by Brenau.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US stocks post sixth straight year of gains
U.S. stocks ended a strong 2014 with moderate declines Wednesday.
4:43PM ( 4 months ago )
Palestinians push ahead in pursuit of war crimes charges against Israel
Stung by a resounding defeat in the U.N. Security Council, the Palestinians announced Wednesday that they joined the International Criminal Court to pursue war crimes charges against Israel.
1:57PM ( 4 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 4 months ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 4 months ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
UNG plans to occupy top floor of Cumming City Hall
Due to program and enrollment growth at its Cumming Campus, the University of North Georgia plans to lease the top floor of the Cumming City Hall for its Master of Business Administration and continuing education and professional development programs, that according to Associate Vice President of University Relations Kate Maine.
By Submitted
6:16PM ( 3 days ago )
Flowery Branch moves forward with downtown redevelopment
The Flowery Branch City Council has given approval to start the pre-design work on a redesign of the city's downtown area.
7:38PM ( 5 days ago )
Hall Co. fire services promotes first female Chief Officer
Hall County Fire Services has promoted Captain Christie Grice to Battilion Chief of Business Services, the first promotion of a female to a Chief Officer position in the department's history.
6:24PM ( 5 days ago )
Hall Sheriff discusses law enforcement in South Hall, nation
With two-thirds of Hall County’s population living south of Oakwood (according to the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce) the South Hall Business Coalition wanted to hear from Sheriff Gerald Couch and tour the new Sheriff’s Office headquarters building that opened in their part of the county in November 2014.
11:44AM ( 5 days ago )
Greater Hall Chamber honors businesses, community leaders
The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce gathered Thursday celebrate the past year and to recognize some of the businesses and people who made it possible.
9:00PM ( 1 week ago )