Groundbreaking ceremony for the College of Health Sciences (including Nursing) Building

History of the School of Nursing


Nursing School Brief History: 1951-2001

Establishing the School. Amelia Leino was asked by the Board of Trustees to establish a school of nursing at the University of Wyoming in 1950. The legislation for establishing the school had been instigated by Mr. Rudolph Anselmi of Rock Springs, Wyoming. A baccalaureate program of nursing was visionary, as most nurses were being trained in hospitals at that time. Leino succeeded in having the program ready for the first students to be admitted in 1951. The first class attended summers in order to graduate by 1954.

School Location. The school has been located in the Arts and Sciences Building, the old Fieldhouse, the old tower of the Student Union, and then in 1960 moved into its own building, shared with Student Health. It was also a department, a college and now a school within the College of Health Sciences.

A Quick Look at Progression. Leino, Gertrude Gould, and Dorothy Tupper were the first faculty. Gradually, as the number of students increased, so did the number of faculty. An attempt to meet the needs of the state was always paramount, as branches of the program were in Sheridan and Casper. Gradually, education became feasible through the use of technology, such as compressed video and Internet. Today the School of Nursing has students on campus and around the world. It serves those entering nursing at the basic level; those who have previous bachelor’s degrees and are changing career paths; nurses who want to earn a baccalaureate degree; nurses who want to become a nurse educator; and now for those nurses who would like to work toward the new standard in advanced practice nursing education, we provide the DNP program – doctor of nursing practice – offering family nurse practitioner or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner tracks.

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School Renamed "Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing" in 2003

Ralph R. "Roy" Whitney and Fay W. Whitney

Ralph R. "Roy" Whitney, Jr.

The School of Nursing was renamed to "Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing" in 2003 as a result of Roy Whitney's three million dollar gift to the university, made as a birthday gift to Fay from her husband. The funds were used to help in the renovation of the Old Biochemistry Building for the College of Health Sciences. The renovated building, now named "Health Sciences Center" is home to nursing and other college programs and divisions except the Division of Kinesiology and Health, which remains in the expanded and remodeled Corbett Building.

Fay W. Whitney, PhD, RN, FAAN

Fay Whitney's journey to Wyoming began in 1992 when her husband decided that life on a ranch would be an adventure. The stipulation that Fay placed on this dream was that the ranch had to be close enough to a university so she could continue her career.

Whitney's nursing career started in 1961 when she graduated from the University of Rochester with her Bachelor of Science Degree. A master's degree in nursing was earned from Syracuse University in 1974, a certificate as a nurse practitioner from Brigham Young University in 1974, a master's degree in public health from Syracuse University in 1982,and a PhD from Syracuse University in 1983 in public administration. Whitney was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Nurse Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania from 1983-85.

Fay's career has centered around clinical practice and teaching. In these roles she has received numerous awards for excellence in nursing and leadership. Whitney has held many offices in national organizations and started the Whitney Wellness Center in Laramie. She likes to see progress for the profession and tries to make that happen through her service on statewide committees, such as the Wyoming Governor's Steering Committee on Telemedicine, the Wyoming Governor's Advisory Council on Aging, and the Wyoming Higher Education Assistance Authority. She has been an active researcher, having received more than one million dollars in research grants, edited two books, published 42 refereed articles, and presented internationally and nationally at 72 meetings.

For additional information about Dr. Whitney, please visit her faculty page on our Web site by clicking this link: Fay Whitney - More Information

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Contact Us

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University of Wyoming
Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing
Dept. 3065; 1000 E. University Avenue
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-4312
Fax: (307) 766-4294
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