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Photo collage from 1970s including first graduating class


  • The School of Nursing opens its doors in March at the nurses’ residence of Hermann Hospital, but soon moves into the Hermann Professional Building Annex.
  • Elizabeth (Betty) C. Jones, PhD, MSN, RN, is named associate dean of the school.
  • On Aug. 28, 98 undergraduate students are admitted into the BSN program.


  • The School of Nursing officially becomes one of The University of Texas System Schools of Nursing.


  • 86 students graduate with a BSN.
  • The school moves to Houston Main Building at 1100 Holcombe Blvd.
  • MSN degree program is established.
  • Programs in gerontological, oncological, and psychiatric/mental health nursing are established.


  • The School of Nursing Alumni Association is formed.
  • Dorothy Otto, EdD, MSN, RN, becomes acting dean.


  • The School of Nursing becomes a part of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
  • The first MSN students enroll.


  • Arlowayne Swort, PhD, RN, becomes dean.


  • Emergency Nursing Program is established.

Photo collage from 1980s including Dean Patricia Stark and a nurse at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo


  • Perinatal Nursing Program is established.


  • The Zeta Pi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society is granted to the School of Nursing.


  • Critical Care Nursing program is established.


  • Patricia L. Starck, PhD, RN, FAAN, is appointed dean.


  • RN-BSN Program is established.
  • Nurse Anesthesia and Women’s Health Care Nursing programs are established.


  • The Center for Nursing Research is established.


  • The Center on Aging is established.

Photo collage from 1990s including Wee Thumbie pacifier and UTHealth Services


  • Pediatric Nursing program is jointly established with Texas Woman’s University, becoming solely UTHealth Houston’s program in 2001.


  • UT Health Services clinic opens.


  • 13 students graduate with an MSN degree as part of an outreach program that results in The University of Texas-Pan American (now UT Rio Grande Valley) establishing its own master’s program in 1994.


  • PARTNERS is established with Peggy Barnett as its first chair.
  • Joan Engebretson, DrPH, RN, and Diane Wardell, PhD, RN, receive a patent for the first pacifier designed for low birth weight babies, branded “Wee Thumbies.”
  • Neonatal Nursing Program is established.


  • The first dual degree MSN-MPH program in Texas begins in Houston.


  • The Doctor of Science in Nursing (DSN) program is founded.
  • Acute Care Nursing and Family Nursing programs are established.

Photo collage from the 2000s including rendering of new building and DNP pin 


  • U.S. News & World Report ranks the school’s MSN program among the top 12% in the nation.
  • Tropical Storm Allison floods the Texas Medical Center, June 8-9.


  • Adult Health Nursing Program is established.
  • 30 graduates are honored as Distinguished Alumni in honor of the school’s 30th anniversary.


  • The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Education and Research is founded.
  • The new $57 million School of Nursing and Student Community Center, 6901 Bertner Avenue, celebrates its grand opening.


  • The school opens the first biological sciences “wet” laboratory in a Texas nursing school.
  • Hurricanes Katrina and Rita cause tremendous devastation along the Gulf Coast. UTHealth Houston operates a comprehensive 24-hour emergency health clinic in the George R. Brown Convention Center.
  • Nurse Leadership and Administration Program is established.


  • The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is established.
  • The PARTNERS endowment reaches $1 million in funding. The first PARTNERS Professorship is established.


  • The Pre-Clinical Critical Care Laboratory is constructed.
  • The title of the Doctor of Science in Nursing degree changes to the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing. Previous doctoral graduates could request reissue of their diplomas.
  • A time capsule is installed in the staircase leading from the café to the bookstore as part of the school’s 35th anniversary celebration.


  • $2 million in gift funding is secured for a new Accelerated PhD Program.
  • In May, the school graduates the state’s first nine students ever to earn the DNP degree.
  • The building is awarded LEED® Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Photo collage from the 2010s including Cizik naming ceremony and PARTNERS luncheon


  • The school partners with Houston Community College’s John B. Coleman, MD College for Health Sciences on early decision BSN admissions for associate degree nursing students.
  • The Patricia L. Starck Accelerated PhD Scholars Program admits 10 students for the fall semester.
  • The new Pacesetter BSN option is also offered for fall.


  • Dean Starck becomes UTHealth Houston’s Senior Vice President for Community Affairs.
  • A $500,000 gift endows the Huffington Foundation Chair in Nursing Education Leadership to be held by the dean.
  • The school agrees to early decision BSN admissions through the Lone Star College System.


  • MD Anderson’s Houston Main Building, the nursing school’s home for 30 years, is imploded on Jan. 8 prior to final demolition.


  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs approves the new BSN to DNP degree in Nurse Anesthesia.
  • A second group of accelerated PhD students is admitted for fall, after a successful $1.3 million fundraising initiative. All 10 members of the 2010 cohort are hired as assistant professors.


  • In February, Dean Starck announces plans to step down as dean at the end of the year.


  • Lorraine Frazier, PhD, RN, FAAN, becomes dean on February 1.
  • The Nursing Informatics track in the post-master’s DNP program admits its first students in fall 2015.


  • In the spring semester, the Veterans’ BSN program begins facilitating the transition of U.S. Armed Forces veterans into professional nursing.
  • U.S. News & World Report cites the DNP program as the highest-ranked in Texas and No. 24 nationwide. 
  • The Ambassador Program is established.


  • On Nov. 15, in recognition of their landmark gift of $25 million, the school is renamed “Jane and Robert Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth Houston.”


  • The school’s original documentary, “Caring Corrupted: the Killing Nurses of the Third Reich,” wins a Platinum award in the prestigious Worldfest film competition.
  • Frazier concludes her 3 ½ year deanship. Diane Santa Maria, DrPH, MSN, RN, FAAN, is appointed dean ad interim, effective Aug. 20.
  • A tribute wall honoring the Ciziks’ gift is unveiled on Oct. 24.


  • The BSN to DNP Nurse Practitioner degree program is approved by the THECB for fall 2019.
  • Robert Cizik dies June 4 at age 88.

Photo collage from the 2020s including masked students, virtual graduation, and Sim Lab


  • Cizik School of Nursing cuts the ribbon on its expanded Simulation and Clinical Performance Laboratory and its new Smart Apartment.
  • UTHealth Houston campus shuts down most in-person activities in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Socially distanced simulations and testing return to the nursing school during the summer term. Graduates celebrate with virtual commencement and pinning ceremonies.
  • Diane M. Santa Maria, DrPH, MSN, RN, FAAN, becomes the fifth dean of Cizik School of Nursing, effective Sept. 1, 2020.


  • Cizik School of Nursing students, faculty, and staff volunteer countless hours at COVID-19 vaccination clinics run by UT Physicians.
  • Graduates of Cizik School of Nursing, UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry, and UTHealth School of Public Health participate in the first joint commencement ceremony at Minute Maid Park.
  • Dean Diane Santa Maria serves as co-director of the newly formed Texas Developmental Center for AIDS Research, its Mentoring Program, and its Substance Use Scientific Working Group.
  • Professor Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, MSN, RN, FAAN, delivers the inaugural presentation of the Carla Diaz-Lewis Domestic Violence Lecture Series on Oct. 13, 2021.


  • The BSN to PhD program is established to give nurses interested in research the opportunity to advance their careers more quickly.
  • UT Health Services moves into its spacious new clinic on the ground floor of the UTHealth Houston Professional Building.
  • Patricia A. Grady, PhD, FAAN, director emeritus of the National Institute of Nursing Research, delivers the inaugural Jane and Robert Cizik Lecture on March 22, 2022.
  • Cizik School of Nursing collaborates on a $2.3 million Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) fellows HRSA-funded grant led by the Baylor College of Medicine-Texas Medical Center. Student Grecia Zamora is named the program’s first nursing fellow.
  • Cizik School of Nursing celebrates is 50th anniversary with a gala on Oct. 14.


  • Dean Emerita Patricia Starck is honored by Nurses with Global Impact, Inc., at the United Nations in New York City on May 12.