Our College of Nursing is a research intensive institution that cultivates a spirit of leadership and innovation to find and test solutions to today's most challenging healthcare problems.
Message from the Dean
As the 8th Dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I am fortunate to lead a diverse intellectual community of scholars, practitioners and staff, who are dedicated to our mission of transforming health, healthcare, and policy through knowledge generation and translation, and the education of future leaders from diverse backgrounds. At this time, nursing has many opportunities to lead the transformation of health care. We are committed to advancing such nursing leadership by preparing students to meet the challenges of providing quality care to diverse populations in a cost-effective manner. We were the first college of nursing designated as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Development in the United States. Our students are exposed to excellence in teaching, practice, and research by gaining experience in our nurse-managed clinics which were designated as an Edge Runner by the American Academy of Nursing, learning from award-winning professors and working alongside internationally-recognized investigators who are generating cutting-edge research that affects health policy and directly improves the lives of patients world-wide. The College of Nursing is consistently ranked in the top 10 in funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Each year, more than 1,300 nursing students have access to excellence through our baccalaureate (BSN), master of science (MS), graduate entry master of science program, doctor of nursing practice (DNP), doctor of philosophy (PhD), and certificate programs - in Chicago and at our regional campuses in Peoria, Quad Cities, Rockford, Springfield and Urbana. With seven health science colleges at the UIC, students have the opportunity to engage in inter-professional classroom and clinical opportunities.
Explore our website and discover all that the College of Nursing can offer new students and when advancing your career. Even better, please contact us with any questions you may have or come for a visit!
Terri E. Weaver, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor and Dean
UIC College of Nursing
Mission and Vision
The mission of the UIC College of Nursing is to transform health, healthcare, and policy through knowledge generation and translation, and education of future leaders from diverse backgrounds.
Our vision is to be a preeminent leader in advancing global health and nursing.
Nursing at the University of Illinois has a vibrant history full of many memorable achievements. Although formal nursing education can be traced back to 1873, it was nearly seventy years before the University of Illinois began establishing a school of nursing. Until then, Illinois nurses were trained at hospital schools where their focus was hands-on experience. As the demands of the profession grew, so did the need for higher education. Nursing courses started to be offered at the University of Illinois, at the request of hospitals, in the early 1940s. Then in 1949, the Affiliate Collegiate program was established between the University of Illinois and four area hospital schools of nursing in central Illinois. The program allowed hospital students to earn their bachelor’s degrees and inaugurated the RN-BSN program.
In 1951, the Board of Trustees for the University of Illinois authorized the organization of the School of Nursing to be an autonomous unit of the university. The Affiliate Collegiate program was discontinued and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) became the first public institution in Illinois to offer a curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. The result attracted students that might have otherwise have forgone nursing. The admission of the first class to the School of Nursing in September, 1954 marked a defining moment in the history of nursing at the UIC.
In 1956, Emily C. Cardew became the institution’s first dean of nursing and the first class of eight students graduated in 1957. Soon after, re-designated as a College of Nursing (CON), the UIC established a Master of Science in Nursing. In the late 1960s, construction of a new building at 845 South Damen Avenue was completed. This new facility allowed the number of incoming students to triple. In the 1970s, the CON expanded to include regional sites in Peoria, Rockford and Urbana; established the first PhD program for nurses in Illinois; and created the first ever graduate program of its kind in nurse midwifery in the U.S. The CON expanded to the Quad Cities in 1980. In 1986, it was designated as the first World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre in Nursing and Midwifery.
The 1980s and 1990s witnessed the CON emerging as a leader in nursing research with numerous federal and state funded grants. These research endeavors, along with the highest quality of education and patient care, have brought national recognition to the UIC College of Nursing. It is one of the premiere nursing programs in the nation. In 2005, the CON celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago – a fitting location for a college that continues to reach for the stars. Although we are long past that anniversary, we will always be reaching/striving for the best.
1/3 of the CON faculty are American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Fellows
6 have been designated AAN Living Legends
- 2012 Dean Emerita Mi Ja Kim, PhD, RN, FRCN, FAAN
- 2011 Suzanne Fetham, PhD, RN, FAAN
- 2008 Helen Grace, PhD, RN, FAAN
- 1997 Mary Kelly Mullane, PhD, RN, FAAN
- 1995 Virginia Ohlson, PhD, RN, FAAN
- 1994 Harriett Werley, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI
Current Faculty - Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing
- Martha Bergren DNS, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FASHA
- Sandy Burgener PhD, RNC
- Sandra Drozdz Burke, PhD, APRN, BC, CDE
- Eileen Collins PhD, RN
- Constance M. Dallas PhD, RN
- Holli A. DeVon PhD, RN, FAHA
- Carol Ferrans PhD, RN
- Eileen Danaher Hacker, PhD, RN, AOCN
- Tonda Hughes PhD, RN
- Brigid Lusk, PhD, RN
- Linda L. McCreary, PhD, RN
- Mariann Piano PhD, RN
- Laurie Quinn, PhD, RN, APN, CDE
- Cheryl Schraeder PhD, RN
- Linda Scott, PhD, RNNEA-BC, FAAN
- Terri E. Weaver PhD, RN
- Diana Wilkie PhD, RN
- Shannon Zenk PhD, MS, MPH, RN
- Julie Zerwic PhD, RN
15 faculty serve on Boards of Directors, Advisory Boards, Executive Councils and several on International Boards including:
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)
- National Organization of Nursing Practice Faculties (NOPF)
- International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG)
- Presidents of national organizations
- Diabetes Educators
Faculty Designated as Distinguished Alumni by their Alma Maters are:
- Carol Estwing Ferrans, PhD, RN, FAAN, Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing (2007)
- Tonda Hughes, PhD, RN, FAAN, Kentucky College of Nursing Hall of Fame (2011)
- Linda Scott, PhD, RNNEA-BC, FAAN, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan (2013)
- Dean Terri E. Weaver, PhD, RN, FAAN, Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing (2007)
Memorable UIC CON Facts
The UIC College of Nursing draws the most accomplished and proactive nursing students from across the nation and around the world and continually exceeds expectations with our number of graduates. The CON has five regional campuses in Illinois in addition to Chicago, in Peoria, Quad Cities, Rockford, Springfield and Urbana and an internationally recognized and vibrant Global Health Leadership Office (GHLO).
Points of Pride
- Consistently ranked in the top tier of colleges in nursing research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
- Ranked by Internationalstudent.com as the #1 College of Nursing for international students to receive their nursing education.
- Ranked #1 in Illinois and #13 nationally by U.S. News & World Report for top graduate programs in Colleges of Nursing. Specialty programs ranked:
- Administration 4th
- Nurse Midwifery 5th
- Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner 8th
- Informatics 9th
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner 9th
- Family Nurse Practitioner 10th
- First U.S. World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Development and received 3rd redesignation in 2015.
- UIC’s online bachelors programs – including the RN-to-BSN program – ranked #2 by U.S. News & World Report.
The University of Illinois at Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).
The College of Nursing Master's and Baccalaureate programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) through December 31, 2019. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is accredited through December 31, 2024.
The College Baccalaureate and Graduate Entry programs are also approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). The Nurse-Midwifery program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) through January, 2022.
The College of Nursing holds membership in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
The College of Nursing (CON) faculty is organized as a policy-setting body that engages in shared governance to develop the educational, research, and practice goals, priorities, and activities of the CON. The faculty engages in shared governance with regard to executing the mission of the College and implementing policy related to achieving the educational, research and practice strategic goals. The faculty also recommends and reports to the appropriate UIC campus and university bodies. The College by-laws delineates the committee structure, composition and function.
UIC College of Nursing (CON) Organizational Chart (PDF)
UIC Organizational Chart (PDF)
Diversity / Inclusion
College of Nursing Diversity Strategic Plan: Goals and Strategies
The University defines diversity as, “the totality of the ways people are similar and different, including race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation and identity, disability, national origin and citizenship status, age, language, culture, religion, and economic status, particularly when those similarities and differences are used as a basis for unfair advantage and inequity." The goals in this document are based on multiple sources of data including the College of Nursing Diversity Strategic Thinking document and the University document, “Through the Lens of Diversity.” Download 'CON Diversity Strategic Plan' (pdf).
A Mosaic for UIC Transformation
Compiled by UIC’s Diversity Strategic Plan, "A Mosaic for UIC Transformation" is a statement of priorities, goals, and actions that will position diversity as fundamental to all campus activities. "A Mosaic for UIC Transformation" embraces our vision of a campus where each individual member through academic excellence realizes her or his full capacity for creativity, innovation, and service. Download 'A Mosaic for UIC Transformation' (pdf).
Through the Lens of Diversity
This report shares with the UIC community the conclusions and recommendations for action of the Diversity Strategic Thinking and Planning (DSTP) Committee. Download 'Through the Lens of Diversity' (pdf).
Connections & Professional Organizations
University of Illinois
State of Illinois
American Academy of Nursing (AAN)
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
American Nurses Association (ANA)
Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS)
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)