History

Clarkson College traces its roots to Omaha’s Good Samaritan Hospital, which opened in 1869 and became the forerunner of Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital. The first student nurse completed a two-year training period in 1890. In 1902, a three-year nurses training school accepted students at the Hospital’s 17th and Dodge Street location. A Clarkson superintendent called civic leaders to the first meeting of the Nebraska Nurses Association at Clarkson in 1906; three years later, the founding members achieved their initial goal of registration for 10 trained nurses who passed a state examination.

The Alumni Association was formed in 1910. By 1913, Clarkson was the first Nebraska school to reduce the standard on-duty requirement from 12 hours per day (six-and-a-half days a week) to eight hours per day. The Hospital and School moved in 1936 to 26 and Dewey Streets where students were housed in several homes nearby.

During World War II, a new nurse’s home (dormitory) was built across the street from the Hospital. The School of Nursing also actively participated in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps program, which funded student tuition, books, uniforms and monthly stipends as a way to recruit nurses for the war effort.

After the war, the Hospital moved to its current location at 42 and Dewey Streets. However, related budget problems led the Nursing program to close in 1955. A very generous donation from Mr. and Mrs. Peter Kiewit enabled the Nursing program to reopen in 1960 with the completion of Kiewit Tower.

The 1970s saw Clarkson College admit male students to its burgeoning program. In the 1980s, Clarkson College received accreditation from the North Central Association and National League for Nursing. Development of the Online Education, Professional Development, Radiologic Technology/Medical Imaging, Physical Therapist Assistant and graduate programs swiftly followed. Today, the College also offers degrees and certificates in Health Care Business, Imaging Informatics, Post-Master’s certificates in Nursing and a host of Professional Development, Basic and Advanced Life Support and Continuing Education opportunities.

Since 1888, Clarkson College graduates have distinguished themselves at home and abroad, in peacetime and in wartime. Now in its second century, the College continues to build on its solid tradition by developing health care programs to provide for safe, compassionate and effective care.

In the new millennium, a focus on diversity led to the development of the Gateway to Success Minority Nursing Scholarship. In order to serve our diverse population the College began the “Building on the Legacy of Enriching Campus Life for Students” effort in 2004 to create an environment of living and learning by constructing the new Student Village campus. The new campus includes a Student Center, apartment-style Residence Hall and courtyard complete with the Clarkson College Service League Heritage Garden.

In 2008, Clarkson College enhanced student services by opening a newly renovated lobby with student access to admissions and student records services. In addition, a newly renovated lower level allows easier access to professional development and basic life support services from a 42 Street entrance. The Center for Teaching Excellence also opened its doors in 2008.

Only two years later in 2010, the College reconstructed the first floor main lobby area and developed the Student Services Suite to establish convenient access to all facets of student information.