Our History & Tradition

The history of ResU is marked by leadership.

In 1911, a few physicians from the Chicago suburbs of Oak Park and Austin decided that their communities needed a hospital. Under the leadership of Dr. Charles E. Humiston, an Austin physician and president of the Illinois State Medical Society, a committee was formed, funds were raised, land was purchased, and the cornerstone for the West Suburban Hospital was laid on April 12, 1912.

The original hospital charter was very specific about the mission: “establish and maintain a hospital and dispensary for the care of the sick and injured, to provide educational facilities to medical students and to establish and maintain a training school for nurses.”

A training school for nurses was indeed established on February 17th, 1914 when the West Suburban Hospital School for Nurses opened its doors for the very first time. Like the hospital, the school for nurses grew steadily and by the twenties, more space was needed. In 1925, a new building was completed featuring state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, living quarters and a large ballroom on the seventh floor.

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The school’s reputation for excellence grew with each graduating class and in March, 1946, the institution entered into an affiliation with Wheaton College. The program, which had a strong missionary focus, attracted students from all over the United States, including daughters of missionary parents abroad. In the 1950s, over 50% of the missionary nurses serving across the United States and in foreign countries were graduates of West Suburban Hospital School for Nurses and the Wheaton program (the affiliation with Wheaton ended in the early 1980s).

In 1953 the name of the school was changed to the West Suburban Hospital School of Nursing. In 1985 the institution entered into another affiliation, this time with Concordia College (now Concordia University Chicago) in River Forest and the name was again changed to Concordia-West Suburban College of Nursing. The idea of a single-purpose degree-granting college of nursing was unheard of at the time. In fact this model was the first in Illinois and possibly second in the nation. The affiliation ended in 2003 and the name was again revised, this time to West Suburban College of Nursing.

In 2004, Resurrection Health Care (RHC) purchased West Suburban Medical Center and the College of Nursing along with the Westlake Medical Center in Melrose Park, Illinois. Both were sold to Vanguard Health Systems in 2010. But RHC kept ownership of the College of Nursing as part of its educational vision. On July 1, 2010, the West Suburban College of Nursing was joined by the College of Allied Health (featuring the Health Informatics and Information Program (HIIM)), forming Resurrection University.

2013 marked the beginning of a new era for the University. After 98 years in Oak Park, we moved into our new home at Presence Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in the heart of Chicago’s historic Wicker Park neighborhood. Instruction at the new facility began on January 7, 2013 and a formal ribbon cutting ceremony was held on March 13, 2013 with Bishop Alberto Rojas, Auxiliary Bishop Archdiocese of Chicago who blessed the campus.

In 2014, the University celebrated 100 years of educating students with a centennial celebration. In 2015, the Saint Francis School of Radiography joined ResU’s College of Allied Health. The University is now proud to offer programs in Nursing, Health Informatics and Information Management, and Radiography.

 

 

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May 1911

A group of physicians from the Chicago suburbs of Oak Park and Austin felt the community needed adequate hospital facilities. The first meeting of the West Suburban Hospital Association was held on May 15, 1911

Apr 1912

Under the leadership of Dr. Charles E. Humiston, president of the Illinois State Medical Society, the cornerstone for the West Suburban Hospital was laid on April 12, 1912. The original hospital charter was very specific about the mission: establish and maintain a hospital and dispensary for the care of the sick and injured, to provide educational facilities to medical students and to establish and maintain a training school for nurses.

Feb 1914

In support of that original mission, a training school, the West Suburban Hospital School for Nurses, was established on February 17, 1914, offering a diploma program.

Nov 1915

On November 18, 1915, the first class of four students graduated from the West Suburban Hospital School for Nurses at a ceremony held at the First Congregational Church of Oak Park.

Jan 1925

A new nurses home was completed, featuring state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, living quarters and a large ballroom on the seventh floor. In its day, the new building was described as a structure equaled by few institutions in the country for its beautiful architecture and furnishings.

Mar 1946

The institution entered into an affiliation with Wheaton College that lasted until 1982. The program attracted students from all over the United States, including daughters of missionary parents abroad.

Jan 1950

In the 1950s, more than half of the missionary nurses serving across the United States and in foreign countries were graduates of West Suburban Hospital School for Nurses and the Wheaton program.

Jan 1953

The name of the school was changed to the West Suburban Hospital School of Nursing.

Jan 1981

The University was recognized by the Illinois Board of Higher Education on January 23, 1981, under “An Act Regulating Private Colleges” and “An Act Regulating the Granting of Academic Degrees” and given degree granting and operating authority to offer a nursing degree. This recognition, based on the laws governing degree granting and operating authority for independent colleges and universities, continues to date.

Nov 1981

The baccalaureate program was approved on November 17, 1981, by the State of Illinois Department of Registration and Education, currently known as the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

Jan 1982

Established in 1982, the Baccalaureate Nursing Program included both a generic and Registered Nurse completion option. Originally developed as an upper level nursing program in affiliation with Concordia College, the baccalaureate program also offered several nursing courses at the sophomore level. The last class to live in the dorms inside the original nursing building graduated in 1982.

Jan 1985

The institution entered into an affiliation with Concordia College (now Concordia University) in River Forest and the name was again changed to Concordia-West Suburban College of Nursing.

Jan 1986

The University was initially accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, now known as the Higher Learning Commission, a member of the North Central Association.

Jan 1988

The University was accredited by the National League for Nursing, now known as the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc.

Feb 1988

The University received preliminary accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education in February.

Jan 1991

The University was approved to allow “a limited number of courses at the Master’s level not applicable to degrees offered.”

Jan 1996

The University was re-accredited in 1996 by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc.

Jan 2003

The affiliation with Concordia College ended in 2003 and the name was again revised, this time to West Suburban College of Nursing.

Sep 2003

In the fall of 2003, faculty revised the curriculum to be community based.

Mar 2004

Resurrection Health Care (RHC) purchases West Suburban Medical Center and the College of Nursing along with the Westlake Medical Center in Melrose Park, Illinois. West Suburban College of Nursing becomes part of Resurrection Health Care on March 10th.

Oct 2005

The addition of the graduate nursing programs was approved by the Higher Learning Commission, a member of the North Central Association on December 18, 2005 and by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education on October 12, 2005.

May 2008

The Higher Learning Commission approved the baccalaureate degrees of health informatics and healthcare administration. Degree plans have been established to support transfer students from all surrounding colleges and universities.

Jul 2010

On July 1, 2010, West Suburban College of Nursing becomes Resurrection University, with a College of Nursing and a College of Allied Health

Oct 2011

Dr. Beth A. Brooks is appointed President of Resurrection University. Dr. Brooks is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Nov 2011

Resurrection Health Care and Provena Health join together to form Presence Health, the largest catholic health system in Illinois.

Apr 2012

Resurrection University and Concordia University Chicago reestablish the nursing degree program partnership originally started between West Suburban College of Nursing and Concordia College.

Dec 2012

Resurrection University moves to the campus of Saint Elizabeth Medical Center in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. Resurrection University now occupies parts of the first floor, which includes a new student lounge and library, as well as the entire sixth, seventh and eighth floors for classrooms, administration, an advanced simulation lab, faculty and staff offices.

1970 Album: A Quiet Understanding Performed by: West Suburban Hospital Student Nurses Choir

1971 Album: To Mirror Thee Performed by: West Suburban Hospital Student Nurses Choir

1977 Album: With One Accord Performed by: West Suburban Hospital Student Nurses Choir

1979 Album: Reflections of His Love Performed by: West Suburban Hospital Student Nurses Choir