The Duke University Medical Center Archives is happy to announce that Watts School of Nursing Records are processed and open for research. Watts School of Nursing (SON), originally Watts Hospital Training School for Nurses, began as part of Watts Hospital in 1895 as a two-year diploma program. Its first graduate received her nursing degree in 1897. In 1956, Watts Hospital Training School for Nurses became the first diploma program in North Carolina to achieve National League for Nursing accreditation. Watts Hospital closed in 1976 when Durham County General Hospital opened. At this time, Watts Hospital Training School for Nurses moved to Durham Regional Hospital and was renamed Watts School of Nursing, becoming part of the Duke University Health System. In 2004, Watts SON developed an articulation agreement with the University of Mount Olive. In 2007 Watts SON was relocated to a facility on Coasdaile Drive in Durham, North Carolina. Currently the nursing school is undergoing another significant transition, as their long-standing diploma program converts to a baccalaureate program. As of 2019 Watts SON became Watts College of Nursing and will offer BSN degrees starting in 2020.
The new Watts School of Nursing Records contains nursing student composites, photographs of Watts Hospital, and a certificate. These materials should be of interest to anyone who wants to know more about the history of medicine and nursing education in Durham and the state of North Carolina. To learn more about these materials, visit the finding aid or contact the archives staff.
This blog was contributed by Archives Intern Caroline Waller.