Rush University

Rush University College of Nursing

About the University

Rush University is the academic component of Rush University Medical Center, a leader in health care in Chicago and in the Midwest for more than 170 years. Founded in 1972, the University includes the College of Nursing, Rush Medical College, the College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College. As a health sciences university affiliated with a major medical center, the College of Nursing is uniquely situated to focus on the priority of patient care.
Statistics about the College
Total Number of Students Enrolled 965 
Number of States Represented by our Student Population  37
U.S. News and World Report Ranking of Nursing Schools  15

Our Mission

The mission of Rush University College of Nursing is to protect the health of the public through the preparation of the future leaders in nursing practice, education and research.


The Rush University College of Nursing was re-accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in 2009. The College was accredited for 10 years through 2019, the maximum granted by CCNE.

History of Rush University College of Nursing

The heritage of the College of Nursing dates back to 1885, when the College's first antecedent, the St. Luke's Hospital Training School of Nursing, opened to offer diploma education to nurses. In 1903, the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing accepted its first students. From 1956 to 1968 nurses were taught at the merged Presbyterian-St. Luke's School of Nursing. Before the establishment of the College of Nursing in 1972, more than 7,000 nurses had graduated from these schools.

The first dean of the Rush University College of Nursing was Luther Christman, PhD, RN, FAAN. Christman rose to great prominence in American nursing as both a forward thinking and controversial figure. The son of a coal miner, Christman became vice president of nursing affairs and the dean of the College of Nursing at Rush University in 1972. His educational background in psychology served him well as an administrator, becoming the first male to hold the joint appointments of dean of nursing and hospital director of nursing. He developed the Rush Model of Nursing that gained him an international reputation as a nursing leader. As an educational maverick, Christman advocated in the 1980s for entry-level nurses to have doctoral degrees.

Other brief highlights (there are many more) from Christman's career include his being dean, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing; founder, American Association for Men in Nursing (the American Assembly for Men in Nursing); founder, National Student Nurses Association; and fellow and living legend of the American Academy of Nursing. Rush College of Nursing is extremely proud to have Christman represent the important contribution of men in the nursing profession.

Today, over 6,000 baccalaureate, master's and doctoral students have graduated from Rush University College of Nursing. The first bachelor's and master's degrees were awarded in 1975; the first Doctor of Nursing Science degree was awarded in 1980; the first practice doctorate was awarded in 1990. Enrollments for current nursing programs are offered from the master's through the doctoral (DNP and PhD) levels. The last baccalaureate class graduated in June 2009. The generalist entry master's (GEM) is the prelicensure program for entry into RN practice.