The Nursing Program shares the University of Washington Tacoma mission to provide upper division undergraduate and graduate education for the diverse citizens of the South Puget Sound region. The Nursing program supports the interdisciplinary mission of the campus through teaching and scholarly inquiry. Within the overall mission of the campus, the Nursing program focuses on the discovery and dissemination of knowledge that promotes health within an ethic of social justice. The curriculum emphasizes and fosters the integration of teaching, inquiry and service through a community of learners. Partnerships with the community assist the program in providing learning environments in which learners build upon their skills and knowledge to strengthen their understanding of local, national and global health issues.
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Nursing degrees are offered on all three campuses of the University of Washington - Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma - and fulfill the mission and goals of the University, the School, and the particular campus. Accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is shared across campuses. This unique, tri-campus relationship fosters diversity, enhances program access, and assures excellence in nursing education.
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at the University of Washington Tacoma admitted its first students in June 1992, joining the Liberal Studies program, which opened the campus in 1990.
Tacoma's RN-to-BSN program was developed by School of Nursing faculty of the University of Washington Seattle and implemented by the founding faculty of UW Tacoma Nursing. This program was initiated to support a specific group of learners, experienced registered nurses (RNs), returning to the academic setting for a BSN.
In June of 1992, sixty-six students began course work that would lead to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. The first graduate completed course work in March 1993, and celebrated commencement that June. Alumni of the University of Washington Tacoma BSN program now total more than 750.
Another milestone for the UW Tacoma Nursing Program was the beginning of the Master of Nursing (MN) Program in September 1996. The MN program focused on advanced nursing practice with Communities, Populations and Health. Twenty-six students began the part-time sequence in September 1996. In June 1998, the first class celebrated commencement. In 1999, the Master of Nursing Program began offering courses with an emphasis in Healthcare Leadership and Management. In 2002, the Nurse Educator option was added.
Other highlights for the program include:
- Program offices move to the new Cherry Parkes building in 2004
- Accelerated ADN to MN study option established in 2004
- Teaching BSN courses off-site at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia since 2005
- Dual enrollment program that allowed Pierce College students to begin their BSN studies at UW Tacoma Nursing while completing their Associate Degree in Nursing since 2007