Visions & Traditions

College of Nursing sculptures

College of Nursing Vision, Mission and Core Values

Our Vision

The Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing will be a preeminent leader in nursing education, practice, and research to improve the culture of health and quality of life.

Our Mission

In an interprofessional environment that is respectful, inclusive, transformative, innovative, and sensitive to a changing fiscal climate, the MUSC CON is committed to promoting health through:

  • Providing evidence-based nursing education
  • Generating, translating, and disseminating scientific knowledge
  • Leading excellence in practice

Our Core Values


  • Demonstrate honesty, ethics and moral strength in every aspect of personal and professional life
  • Ensure equity and fairness
  • Uphold organization standards of conduct, policies, and procedures


  • Advance the profession of nursing through research, practice, scholarship,and life-long learning
  • Seek and embrace new and bold opportunities to ensure fiscal responsibility while ensuring the college’s growth potential during stable as well as unstable financial climates


  • Shape and re-envision the nursing profession by providing cutting edge education and experiential learning opportunities
  • Act intentionally to achieve significant and influential outcomes for our global society
  • Transform health care through collaborative leadership, policy, and advocacy


  • Embrace and promote diversity
  • Celebrate individual talents and strengths
  • Create and promote an environment of belonging where people feel empowered, respected, and valued

History of the College of Nursing


The College of Nursing at the Medical UniversityCollege of Nursing Building historical of South Carolina. had its origin in 1882 when the City Council of Charleston approved a request by the City Hospital for $2,000 to establish a "Training School for Nurses," The school was opened in 1883 and continued until the City Hospital was destroyed by an earthquake in 1886.

It was reestablished as "The Charleston Training School" in 1895. A two-year program of instruction was offered, with some lectures given by the Medical College Faculty. had its origin in 1882 when the City Council of Charleston approved a request by the City Hospital for $2,000 to establish a "Training School for Nurses," The school was opened in 1883 and continued until the City Hospital was destroyed by an earthquake in 1886.

From 1916 to the Present

Nursing students historicalIn 1916, the Board of Commissioners of the Roper Hospital proposed the incorporation of the Training School with the Medical College, and in 1919 the Roper Hospital Training School for Nurses became the School of Nursing of the Medical College of the State of South Carolina. Later the words "of the State" were deleted.

In September 1966, the school began the process of phasing out the three-year diploma program and establishing a four-year baccalaureate program.

In 1969, when the Medical College was Nursing Students Historicaldesignated as "The Medical University of South Carolina" by the State Legislature, the school became one of the six colleges comprising the University. In 1979, the College of Nursing began to offer a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. In 1983 the College of Nursing celebrated one hundred years of nursing education and service to the citizens of South Carolina and the nation. The College of Nursing launched a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing in 2001, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree in 2009. In 2023, the College of Nursing celebrated 140 years of nursing education and excellence, making it one of the oldest schools of nursing in the country.

Current Programs

The College of Nursing now offers programs of study leading to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the Master of Science in Nursing, the Doctor of Nursing Practice and the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science. The baccalaureate program is campus-based, while all graduate programs are offered entirely online. The College is supported by a new state-of-the-science clinical simulation laboratory. In addition, the College has a robust research portfolio and supports faculty clinical practice through a number of practice partnerships.

Preserving CON's Rich History

MEDICA is a publicly accessible digital repository of scholarly and historical materials relating to MUSC and the history of health sciences in South Carolina. MEDICA's collections include articles written by MUSC faculty, theses and dissertations written by MUSC students, and historical photographs and documents relating to the history of the health sciences.

The College of Nursing has already begun a historical collection. You can explore the collection.

The Stethoscope and White Coat Ceremony

Transforming Traditions in Nursing

A nursing tradition was reborn at MUSC in 2002.nursing cap It rekindled the fire that was originally lit by the lamp of Florence Nightingale by transforming the honor of nursing's traditional "Capping Ceremony" into a more contemporary and equally important event, as the baccalaureate students were recognized by the new tradition of a "Stethoscope Ceremony."

Most nursing faculty fondly remember the importance of their own "Capping Ceremony" - a time of recognition and reflection on the paths they were pursing in their chosen career. Yet times and norms have changed, and nurses stopped wearing caps years ago. Sadly, a ceremony celebrating this academic and professional milestone also stopped, as nurses became focused on trying to meet the demands of their stressful work and school environments.

In a renewal of these values and this rite of passage, the MUSC faculty decided to use the power of the stethoscope and words from their colleagues to connote this same tradition of welcoming students into the family of nursing. The campus chapel, with candles flickering and organ music softly playing in the background, captures the air of expectancy among students, families and faculty. In a formal ceremony, the entering baccalaureate students are presented with a stethoscope as a tangible tool of their profession and listen to words of inspiration about the career they have chosen for their life's work. And so a new tradition was born.

In 2014, a gift from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation allowed the College of Nursing to expand this ceremony to include a White Coat Ceremony and the presentation of a Humanism in Medicine Lapel Pin to the incoming Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing students. Students wear their white coats, recite the Nightingale pledge and are presented with a lapel pin that symbolizes the behaviors between nurses and patients that is respectful and compassionate. It signifies attitudes that are sensitive to the values, autonomy, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds of others.

Interested in learning about what happened to the cap? Read this article from Medscape Today: The Dawn of the Cap.

College of Nursing Philosophy

The College of Nursing philosophy is congruent with that of the Medical University of South Carolina and guides the education, research, and practice of nurses and other health professionals in an interprofessional health sciences center. This philosophy embodies the concepts of nursing, health, person, and environment. The faculty believe that the discipline of nursing is both an art and a science focusing on the optimization of health and holistic well being across diverse populations within global communities. Our core values guide the integration of education, scholarship and inquiry to advance knowledge and practice framed by a collaborative interprofessional model of care.