In the late 1800s, American hospitals began establishing nursing departments to train nurses in support of their workforce needs. Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences was founded as part of this trend and for more than a century it responded to the needs of patients, hospitals, and the health care industry by increasing degree offerings growing from a diploma in nursing to a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and Master’s of Science in Nursing degrees. For the first time in 115 years, the College expanded degree offerings by launching associate degrees in allied health and a full general education program in 2018. Today the College is preparing more than 700 students representing diverse backgrounds and cultures for careers throughout the health care continuum.
Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City opened a department of nursing in 1903. In 1946 the Hospital opened a four-story building that included classrooms, laboratories, a library, offices, and residential space for approximately 200 students.
In 1985, the nursing faculty conducted an in-depth study of the issues and challenges facing nursing education in the 21st century and the needs of the health profession and prepared the College to offer a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing beginning fall 1991. The diploma program ended with the last class of graduates in 1992. Since 1906, 3,047 students have graduated with nursing diplomas.
On August 29, 2010, the College was renamed Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences in conjunction with a change to a private, not-for-profit corporation status with Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City the single shareholder. Five years later, the Collegiate Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredited the master’s degree in nursing and post-graduate APRN certificate program. The College now offers masters of nursing degrees and certificates in family nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, and nurse educator.
In 2018, the College expanded degree offerings with an associate of science in allied health and medical assisting degrees and an associate of arts in allied health degree. In addition to these new program offerings, the College launched a general education core focused on health care and framed through the perspective of multiculturalism.