Nursing at the University of South Carolina began in 1942 as a part of an effort to meet the nation’s nursing needs during World War II. Classes were originally held in the McCutchen House on the Horsehshoe. Vianna McCowan led the program in those early years.
The school of nursing was nationally accredited in 1957, and Amy Viglione was appointed the first dean and professor, serving until 1969.
In 1966, the Alpha Xi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau was established at USC.
Under Dean Betty Johnson (1975-80), the college’s programs were consolidated in the new Williams-Brice building. In 1969, Marjorie Sanderson was appointed as professor and second dean, serving until 1974. During her tenure, a master’s program was established in 1971 and the College of Nursing was born.
Dean Constance Baker (1981-88) oversaw the addition of a Ph.D. program and the first distance-learning courses offered by television.
Mary Ann Parsons took over as interim dean in 1988, serving 17 years and becoming the college’s longest-serving dean. During her tenure, the college added the Amy V. Cockcroft Leadership Program (1995), primary care sites for faculty and student practice (1996-97) and the Center for Nursing Leadership (2004).
Dean Peggy Hewlett (2005-2012) helped develop an initiative to address an impending nursing shortage with One Voice, One Plan, which received legislative approval in 2007. During her tenure, the Duke Endowment and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina provided funding to expand the college’s program to the USC Salkehatchie campus in rural South Carolina and later to USC Lancaster. She initiated development of the Simulation Lab in the college (2008) and doubled the size of the undergraduate program.
Dean Jeannette Andrews, the seventh dean of the college, began in January 2013. She is an alumna of the Ph.D. program (2004). In 2014, the first nursing study abroad was offered, the College had record number of graduate student enrollment, record achievements in NIH funding, and record ranking by the US News & World Report.