1900 to Infinity


Florida A&M University’s School of Nursing celebrated its 80th birthday. The idea for the school was first conceptualized by Thomas Tucker back in 1900.

“[Mr. Tucker] desired a training program specifically designed for African-American students at the collegiate level,” Ruena Norman, Ph.D., current dean of the School of Nursing, said.

The baccalaureate program for the school was first offered in 1936 under the leadership of the first dean Mary Elizabeth Carnegie. Fast forward to the present day, and the school has continued to flourish even in its 80 years of existence due to its competitive nature and academically challenging curriculum.

Nobody knows this better than first semester students, as only fifty students are admitted to the program each semester. Some students even apply three times before receiving an interview for admission to the school. For first semester nursing student Tahina Fils-Aime, the rigor and risk is worth the reward.

“During my time as a nursing student, the biggest lesson I've learned is that you will put in the effort for what you really want, no matter how difficult the challenge might be,” Fils-Aime said.

For many students, like first semester nursing student Jordan Malcolm, acceptance to the school is a continuation of fulfillment for their childhood dreams.

“For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a medical professional,” Malcolm said. “My sister, who’s a licensed practical nurse, and I would always talk non-stop about opening up our own practice together and how she would help me to become a nurse step-by-step, just like her.”

For other students, the School of Nursing is an opportunity to be apart of the highly revered and well-respected legacy of FAMU.

“Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University was my only choice because this prestigious university produces the greatest nurses,” first semester nursing student Payge Williams said. “I wanted to be a product of FAMU’s legacy.”

Many students believe nursing is more than a career choice; it’s a passion, a calling, and the natural-born ordainment for their lives. The privilege that they’ve been extended though, is the chance to fulfill their dreams at one of the greatest schools in the nation.

“It's an honor to be apart of such a historic and legendary school that exceeds expectations every day,” Williams said. “This is the celebration of the legacy of one of the best nursing schools in the nation and I am overjoyed to be a part of it.”