DHMC and Clinics' Nursing School: Colby-Sawyer College

A group of young nurses walk together.

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) and Clinics and Colby-Sawyer College have a long history of supporting each other in meeting the needs of the community through the development of nurses and advancement of the nursing profession.

Though DHMC and Clinics is affiliated with a number of colleges and schools that educate nurses and other healthcare professionals, its special relationship with Colby-Sawyer College allows it to continue to fulfill the original intent of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital; to train and educate nurses. We consider Colby-Sawyer College to be DHMC and Clinics nursing school.

As DHMC and Clinics' nursing school, nursing students from Colby-Sawyer College:

With experience gained over two-and-a-half years, many Colby-Sawyer College nursing students apply for positions at DHMC and Clinics and graduate with positions waiting for them. DHMC and Clinics nurses also benefit from the relationship. Many DHMC and Clinics nurses serve as either faculty or preceptors to student nurses and they receive a 10 percent discount on tuition for Colby-Sawyer College’s RN to BS and MS degree programs.

Explore Colby-Sawyer Nursing:

Our History

When Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital opened in 1893, it was designed to:

  • Serve the Upper Valley’s residents.
  • Be a teaching hospital for Dartmouth (now Geisel) Medical School students.
  • Train nurses through its Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital School of Nursing.

In those early days, hospital-based diploma nursing schools, like Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, had little formal instruction, no standardized curriculum, and no accreditation. They provided on-the-job training.

By the 1970s, hospital administrators recognized that DHMC offered an ideal site for practical experience, but educating the next generation of nurses would require the academic rigor and structure native to the collegiate environment. They reached out to nearby Colby-Sawyer College to discuss the feasibility of partnering to establish a baccalaureate-nursing program at the college with clinical rotations at the hospital. The resulting collaboration was interdependent;

  • Colby-Sawyer College offered curriculum development and classroom instruction.
  • DHMC remained the site for practical experience through clinical rotations.

The Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital School of Nursing graduated its last class in 1980 and Colby-Sawyer College welcomed its first students into its baccalaureate-nursing program in 1981, one year later.