The Wesley College nursing program is celebrating 50 years since the first class began preparing for the profession often referred to as a “calling.”

The first class of nursing students enrolled at Wesley in 1967 and completed the associate’s degree in 1969.

The associate degree was the first option available in Delaware. The offerings expanded during the years to include a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and registered nurse to Master of Science in nursing bridge program.

The Wesley College Nursing programs have earned Wesley’s Palliative Care program. Wesley’s nursing department was recognized as the top graduate nursing program in the state by TFE Times. In addition, individual and department recognition within the state has included faculty emeritus Lucille Gambardella being named a 2016 Nursing Legend in the annual Delaware Today poll of top nurses.

The program upgraded to a newly renovated 36,000 square-foot facility in 2014, located just a mile from the main campus. Johnston Hall Health Sciences building offers simulation labs, heart and lung simulators, smart classrooms, a home health lab and computer labs.

The nursing program offers clinical experience in the first year to give the students the opportunity to experience the profession up close. In addition, the program offers an honor society component, community service projects, mission trips abroad, individualized senior practicum to enhance clinical synthesis and small clinical learning groups.

The 18-month celebration will include a lecture series and anniversary and reunion events.

For more, email robert.contino@wesley.edu or call 736-2482.