Lady of the Lake College
History of Our Lady of the Lake College
Our Lady of the Lake College has evolved from the
foundation of excellence provided by the Our Lady of the Lake School of Nursing,
established in 1923 by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady. The School of
Nursing began in conjunction with the establishment of Our Lady of the Lake
Sanitarium in the Capitol Lake area of downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The
School was an integral part of the new hospitalís program of service to the
Five students from the St. Francis Sanitarium in Monroe, Louisiana, formed the
nucleus of the first class of nine students. The students lived, attended
classes and cared for patients in the hospital overlooking Capitol Lake. Upon
completion of three calendar years of education, the students were awarded a
diploma in nursing.
The curriculum was revised over the years to incorporate advances in medical
science, nursing science, nursing practice and nursing education. In 1960, in
response to the changing health needs of the community and the prevailing
nursing shortage, the School of Nursing was the first school in the South to
revise its curriculum by shortening its program from three calendar years to 27
consecutive months. Recruitment to the diploma program was intensified,
enrollment increased and the school continued to grow and maintain its
reputation for excellence.
During the 1970s, major changes began to occur in the student population. Along
with a decline in residential students, there was a gradual but persistent
increase in the number of non-traditional students (23 years of age and older)
seeking admission to the nursing program. By the close of the decade, the School
of Nursing became a commuter school and no longer offered on-campus housing.
This coincided with the relocation of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical
Center to its present site on Essen Lane.
During the 1980s, in response to current trends in nursing education and
licensure, the faculty began exploring options to position nursing education
within the collegiate setting. In 1989, the process culminated with the decision
of the Franciscan Sisters and the Medical Center administration to transition
the diploma program into an associate degree in nursing program within a
degree-granting institution of higher education.
In May 1990, Our Lady of the Lake College of Nursing and Allied Health was
registered with the Louisiana Secretary of State and the Louisiana State Board
of Regents. In July 1990, the Louisiana State Board of Nursing granted the
College initial approval to offer the Associate Degree Program in Nursing and to
admit the first class in August 1990. Regional accreditation of the College was
initially received in June 1994. In July of 1995, the College was officially
renamed Our Lady of the Lake College.
In 1998, the College was approved as a Level II institution to offer
baccalaureate degrees in addition to associate degrees. In September 2004, the
School of Nursing began offering an Accelerated Associate of Science Degree in
Nursing Program in New Orleans. The program originated through a partnership
with Tulane University Hospital and admits 50 students per year who have
non-nursing baccalaureate degrees. In 2005, Our Lady of the Lake College was
approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to offer masterís
degrees in nurse anesthesia, nursing, and physician associate studies.
In addition to the newly-added masterís degree programs, there are further
transformations taking place at Our Lady of the Lake College. In 2007, a
reorganization of the College's academic programs resulted in more comprehensive
academic schools. The new School of Arts, Sciences and Health Professions unites
the former School of Health Sciences and the School of Arts and Sciences. The
Graduate School of Nursing and Undergraduate School of Nursing merged to form
one comprehensive School of Nursing.
Seeking to be faithful to the ideals of its heritage, Our Lady of the Lake
College continues to offer a solid foundation in learning, a tradition of
success in helping others and a legacy of service to Godís people.