Our History

For over 75 years, the University at Buffalo School of Nursing has provided a high-quality nursing education in a dynamic university setting.

Nursing students circa 1940.

Nursing students, circa 1950.

Our Founding

Founded in 1936 as a Division of Nursing in the School of Medicine, the UB School of Nursing is one of five schools that comprise the UB Academic Health Center. In 1940, the School of Nursing was established as an independent unit of the university. Initial baccalaureate degrees were designed to meet the needs of hospital school graduates.

Adding Degree Options

A Master’s degree program was established in 1943. Reflecting the development of nursing education and the profession, early graduate programs focused on specialization in teaching, supervision and administration. The generic baccalaureate program admitted its first students in 1950.

Curriculum Revision

In 1964, a major curriculum revision established clinical concentrations within the program leading to a Master’s degree in nursing with functional areas in teaching, nursing service and administration. 

As health care delivery changed and the need for advanced clinical nursing knowledge became a priority, the functional areas were dropped, and students could select preparation as a clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner (NP), or nurse anesthetist. UB SON has been fortunate to have had national leaders such as Bonnie Bullough, PhD, FAAN, Adele Pillitteri, PhD, RN, PNP, and Patricia Burns, PhD, RN, FAAN, pioneers in the NP movement, and Ira Gunn, CRNA, MLN, FAAN, a pioneer in nurse anesthesia education, on our faculty to develop these programs.  

From DNS to PhD

A Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS) program was added in 1988, with the last student graduating in 2008. Admissions to this program are now closed. 

Under the leadership of Jean K. Brown, PhD, RN, FAAN, a PhD program was developed and approved in 2004. It is one of only three nursing PhD programs in the SUNY system and one of only three nursing PhD programs in New York State that are outside the New York City metropolitan area. 

Accelerated Baccalaureate for Second Degree Students

An accelerated baccalaureate (ABS) program for second degree students was developed and approved in 2003. This program has been very successful and continues to grow in applications and enrollment.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Established

A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program was initially accredited in 2012, offering both post-master's and post-baccalaureate programs of study in four areas: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Anesthesia.  Post-master's programs are offered in the aforementioned specialties and three additional specialties: Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Child Health Nurse Practitioner and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner.  

UB School of Nursing Today

The UB SON currently offers three programs leading to a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree; a post-baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in four programs of study, including Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthesia, and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner; a post-master's DNP in seven programs of study, including Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Child Health Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthesia, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner; and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree.