The baccalaureate program in nursing was initiated in 1970, and 30 students were admitted in the fall of 1971. The first baccalaureate graduates completed the program in May, 1973. Initial accreditation by the National League of Nursing was granted in 1975. The RN Completion program was begun in 1974. The Master's program in Family Nursing accepted its first students in 1993.
In July 2013 the Kansas Board of Regents along with University officials elevated the Department of Nursing to the rank of school within the university, in recognition of the nursing program’s growing size and complexity. In September 2013, Dr. Fay Bradley was recognized for a generous donation to the program. The School of Nursing acquired the name Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing in honor of Dr. Bradley’s mother. Beginning June 2015, PSU offered its first doctoral program, the Doctor of Nursing Practice.
The School of Nursing is one of twelve departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. Seventy-six students are admitted each fall semester to the pre-licensure track in the baccalaureate program. The nursing program is an upper division major which begins in the junior year and builds upon two years of general education courses. In addition to the approximately 150 students in the pre-licensure program, there are nearly 65 students who are registered nurses completing their BSN degrees. The graduate program has approximately 50 students enrolled. The school is currently transitioning its graduate program preparing Family Nurse Practitioners from the Master's to the DNP level.
The School of Nursing is committed to the University's mission with regard to teaching, scholarship and service. In collaboration with health care systems, educational institutions, and communities-of-interest, the School of Nursing assumes the leadership role in pursuit of excellence in nursing through education of undergraduate and graduate students.