Georgia Baptist College of Nursing Timeline

by Jeremy M. Brown — last modified 2011-09-29T15:33:52-04:00

Thanksgiving Day, November, 1901
Dr. Len Broughton, a physician and minister, opened a five-room house, on Courtland Street in Atlanta, called the Baptist Tabernacle Infirmary. The first patients were two destitute women found by staff member of Dr. Broughton's church. 

1902
The Baptist Tabernacle Infirmary Training School for Nurses was established as a two year program.

1902
Julia C. Pressley became lady superintendent of the infirmary training school for Christian nurses and the matron of the home for helpless women. Elisa Sweigher was the first superintendent of nurses.

1903
Bertha Blair became superintendent of the infirmary training school, at age 19, and served two years.

November 16, 1904
First class of four students graduated from the infirmary training school for nurses.

November, 1906
The three year diploma program was established.

April, 1907
Nurses at the tabernacle infirmary training school obtained a charter for the establishment of the Georgia State Association of Graduate Nurses which was found in Savannah, GA.

1908
Major building for the hospital and the school on Luckie Street was completed. 
It included 50 rooms and 3 large wards with 10 beds.

1909
Alumnae Association of the school established.

1911
Annex to the tabernacle infirmary was added.

1912
Approval by the State Board of Examiners for Nurses of Georgia was granted to the tabernacle infirmary training school of nursing.

November 30, 1912
Georgia Baptist Convention authorized it's State Mission Board to purchase the Tabernacle Infirmary and Training School for Nurses for $85,000. The hospital had a 100 bed capacity.

March 15, 1913
The Tabernacle Infirmary and Training School for Nurses was renamed Georgia Baptist Hospital and Georgia Baptist Hospital Training School of Nursing.

1913
Last Graduating Class of the Baptist Tabernacle Infirmary Training School of Nursing.

1904-1913
Sixty-one students graduated from the Baptist Tabernacle Infirmary Training School for Nurses.

December, 1920
Home for nurses completed with accommodations for 180 nurses.

1921
Georgia Baptist Hospital moved from it's facilities on Luckie Street, next door to the Baptist Tabernacle Church, to the corner of east avenue. Due to the incompleteness of the hospital building, the Trustees voted to move the hospital to the new nurses' home on boulevard.

June 26, 1922
The hospital Commission approved the contract for a 14 month lease on a 24 room apartment building at 346 Boulevard in order to housed 36 to 40 nurses.

June, 1923
Hospital leased another apartment building at he corner of North Avenue and Angier Avenue to use as a residence for nurses.

1925 
Hospital broke ground for it's first building on Boulevard.

October 31, 1926
The hospital's new surgical building dedicated.

November, 1939
Apartment building on the northeast corner of Parkway Drive and East Avenue was purchased as a dormitory for the nurses.

1940's
The word training was dropped from the school's name. Now called Baptist Tabernacle Infirmary School for Nurses.

September 17, 1943
Hospital Commission agreed that the school of nursing should establish a cadet corps and decided that the cadet nurses get their initial training at the University of Georgia Atlanta Junior College later to become known as Georgia State University.

1945
Agreement was signed for the school of nursing to affiliate with the University of Georgia Atlanta Junior College for provision of core courses.

March, 1946
Title of Superintendent of Nurses was changed to Director of Nurses.

1947
Enrollment in the school of nursing increased to 203.

March, 1959
School of nursing occupied its new educational building, which was partially funded with a grant from the Ford Foundation.

March 10, 1960
Hospital Commission voted to ask the U.S. Housing and Home Finance Authority for a loan of $2,500,000 to erect a dormitory for the school of nursing. The Warren P. and Ana Sewell Foundation of Bremen, GA made a $500,000 gift to the campaign to build the dormitory and the commission voted to name the building in honor of the Sewells.

July 1961
Contracts for construction of the 13-floor dormitory were awarded in July 1961. Facility was designed to house 500 students, as all students were required to reside on campus at that time.

August 18, 1961
School of nursing held a 60th anniversary reunion for the more than 2,000 women who had graduated since the school was founded in 1902.

April, 1962
Hospital Commission gave permission to proceed with plans to sell bonds for the financing of Sewell Dormitory.

March 1, 1963
Students moved into new dormitory which, according the Atlanta Journal, was "one of the most dominant buildings on the Atlanta skyline."

April 16, 1965
Student activities building (GYM) was dedicated. Included basketball court, bowling alley, swimming pool, etc.

1967
New policy implemented which allowed married students to be admitted to the nursing program.

July, 1967
School received six-year accreditation status from the National League of Nursing.

September, 1970
Sarah Rowland became the first African American female graduate of the Georgia Baptist School of Nursing.

January 3, 1986
Mrs. Kathryn Ransbotham, Director of the School of Nursing, for 24 years, retired. Dr. Susan S. Gunby became the new director and held the titles of president and dean.

1986
The 12th floor of the residence hall was converted into guest quarters.

September, 1989
The first 45 students were admitted to the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing.

March 1992
The last graduating class from the school of nursing. A total of 5,081 students, by this date, graduated since the school was founded in 1902.

June, 1993
The school was renamed Georgia Baptist College of Nursing.

September, 1993
College established a general education division as required by the Southern Associations of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

June, 1994
College of Nursing was granted, membership status, to award a bachelor's degree. This was retroactive to January 1994.

March 15, 1995
College received full accreditation from the National League for Nursing. This was retroactive to November 1993.

1995
Atlanta Baptist Tabernacle Church closed. Dr. Len Broughton built this Church in the early 1900's.

September 5, 1997
Georgia Baptist Health Care System, Inc. sold Georgia Baptist Medical Center to Tenet Healthsystem, Inc.

1997
Georgia Baptist College of Nursing received $25,000,000, as its portion, from the sale of the Medical Center.

December, 1997
College received chapter status from Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. The chapter name is Pi Gamma.

December, 1997
College's governing board authorized the college's administration to hire a firm to access / recommend the preferred future location of the college.

January 11, 1999
Information about the relocation of the college to Flowers Road was shared with students, faculty, staff, and eight alumnae at a college community meeting.

May, 1999
Mark Hebert became the first male graduate of the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing.

December, 2000
Larry M. Moore became the first African American male graduate of the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing.

January 1, 2001
Georgia Baptist College of Nursing merged with Mercer University.

May 4, 2001
First graduate class of Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University.

January, 2002
Georgia Baptist College of Nursing officially relocated to Mercer University, Ceil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus in Atlanta.

August, 2002
College of Nursing admitted first class of nine students to the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program.

October 11-13, 2002
The Georgia Baptist College of Nursing celebrated their Centennial.

October, 2002
5,917 students have graduated in the first 100 years.

October 13-15, 2003
On site (initial) evaluation visit for MSN program by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

May, 2004
First four students graduated from Master of Science in Nursing Program.

May, 2004
6,081 students have graduated in the past 102 years.

May, 2005
6,178 students have graduated in the past 103 years.

2005
Mercer University and Piedmont Healthcare initiative began; established the Center for Health and Learning.

December, 2005
Inaugural group of Piedmont Nursing Scholars selected.

July, 2006
William D. Underwood, J.D. became the 18th university president in Mercer University's 173 years of existence.

August, 2006
6,324 students have graduated in the past 104 years.

August 23, 2006
Mercer University and Piedmont Healthcare recognized the second cohort of Piedmont Nursing Scholars and dedicated a new Learning Resource Center. The Piedmont Nursing Scholars Program is the first initiative of the Center for Health and Learning, a partnership between Mercer University and Piedmont Healthcare.

August, 2007
6,423 students have graduated in the past 105 years.

August, 2008
6,536 students have graduated in the past 106 years.

October 6-8, 2008
On site visit for re-accreditation of the BSN and MSN programs by CCNE. Both programs were reviewed at same time to coordinate future visits and facilitate self-study process.

February, 2009
Dr. Susan Sweat Gunby, Dean and Professor, announced she will "step-down" as dean effective June 30, 2009. She will return to full time teaching in the College of Nursing effective July 1, 2009.

April, 2009
Full, ten year accreditation of the BSN and MSN degree programs was awarded by CCNE.

May 9, 2009
6,688 students have graduated in the past 107 years.

June 30, 2009
Susan Sweat Gunby, RN, PhD "retired" as Dean of the College of Nursing and assumed a full-time faculty position. Linda A. Streit, RN, DSN named Interim Dean.

2009
Centennial Year of the Alumni Association for the School of Nursing and the College of Nursing (1909-2009).

August, 2009
Inaugural class of six students entered the Ph.D. in Nursing degree program at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing.

Fall, 2009
20th anniversary of the founding of the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing.

October 16, 2009
The Georgia Baptist Alumni Association celebrated their Centennial.

May 8, 2010
6,823 students have graduated in the past 108 years.

July 1, 2010
Dr. Linda A. Streit named Dean of the College of Nursing.

August, 2010
Inaugural class of eight students admitted to the DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) degree program at the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing.


Major Source: "Historical Perspectives of Georgia Baptist College of Nursing," by Dr. Susan S. Gunby, RN, PhD.


Alumni, Faculty, Friends:
We want to hear from you. If you have any additions or corrections to this page, please email or write to Arlene Desselles, Swilley Library, Mercer University, 3001 Mercer University Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30341