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Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Nursing School: Colby-Sawyer College

Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Colby-Sawyer College have a long history of supporting each other in meeting the needs of the community through the development of nurses and advancement of the nursing profession.

Though Dartmouth-Hitchcock is affiliated with a number of colleges and schools that educate nurses and other health-care professionals, its special relationship with Colby-Sawyer College allows it to continue to fulfil the original intent of the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital; to train and educate nurses. We consider Colby-Sawyer College to be Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s nursing school.

As Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s nursing school, nursing students from Colby-Sawyer College:

With experience gained over two-and-a-half years, many Colby-Sawyer College nursing students apply for positions at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and graduate with positions waiting for them. Dartmouth-Hitchcock nurses also benefit from the relationship. Many Dartmouth-Hitchcock nurses serve as either faculty or preceptors to student nurses and they receive a 10 percent discount on tuition for Colby-Sawyer College’s RN to BS and MS degree programs.

Explore Colby-Sawyer Nursing:

Our History

When the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital opened in 1893, it was designed to:

  • Serve the Upper Valley’s residents.
  • Be a teaching hospital for Dartmouth (now Geisel) Medical School students.
  • Train nurses through its Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hosptial School of Nursing.

In those early days, hospital-based diploma nursing schools, like the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, had little formal instruction, no standardized curriculum, and no accreditation. They provided on-the-job training.

By the 1970s, hospital administrators recognized that Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center offered an ideal site for practical experience, but educating the next generation of nurses would require the academic rigor and structure native to the collegiate environment. They reached out to nearby Colby-Sawyer College to discuss the feasibility of partnering to establish a baccalaureate-nursing program at the college with clinical rotations at the hospital. The resulting collaboration was interdependent;

  • Colby-Sawyer College offered curriculum development and classroom instruction.
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center remained the site for practical experience through clinical rotations.

The Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital School of Nursing graduated its last class in 1980 and Colby-Sawyer College welcomed its first students into its baccalaureate-nursing program in 1981, one year later.

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