Celebrating 75 Years of Excellence in Nursing Education

Denver nursing students have received exceptional education from a school with a rich history for several decades. The Loretto Heights School of Nursing at Regis University can trace its roots back to the 1890s when the Sisters of Loretto established a girls' academy. Over time, it evolved from an elementary and secondary school to a nursing educator's school, a women's college for nursing, and a coeducational nursing institution. When Loretto Heights College ceased operations in 1988, it was absorbed into what is now Regis University. This year, we celebrate over 75 years of Loretto Heights nurses making a positive impact in the heart of healthcare.

This year, the LHSON celebrates its 75th anniversary (forty years at Loretto Heights College and thirty-five years at Regis University).

Join us on September 23 for a dinner reception as we celebrate with Provosts, Deans, faculty, alumni and students in recognition of a shared history of excellence in nursing education. To honor the anniversary, 100% of your registration fee will benefit the Loretto Heights School of Nursing Scholarship - awarded to nursing students who demonstrate a commitment to community service and volunteer work in the area of health care for the common good.

Unable to attend? Consider making your impact with a donation to the LHSON Scholarship fund.

Loretto Heights School of Nursing History



The Loretto Heights School of Nursing was established in 1936 when a program was developed to educate nurses to be instructors of Nursing.

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Because this program proved successful, Loretto Heights, referred to by classmates as the "Heights", began to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in1942-43. This program was five years in length in affiliation with the Seton School of Nursing.

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The first Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree was awarded in 1951 to eight graduates. The nursing program gained full accreditation from the National League for Nursing in 1952.

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The new curriculum was started in the fall of 1962. The nursing curriculum encompassed the core courses plus the sciences, sociology, theology, medical ethics, and psychology.

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Many changes occurred in the 1970’s at the Heights, the college became coeducational, and the laicized Board of Trustees acted independently of the Sisters of Loretto.

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1988 - 1990

When Loretto Heights closed in 1988, Regis College acquired the nursing program along with a couple of other programs. Fewer than a hundred nursing students transferred.

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1990s and Beyond

The faculty of the Health Care Management Program demonstrated significant creativity and began preparations for new programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy and radiology.

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LHC Panel, Alumni Weekend 2016

Form Regis University Provost Janet Houser, Ph.D. and Marie Friedemann, Ph.D., former Associate Dean, hold an open discussion with alums of Loretto Heights College in 2016 to talk the history, present, and future of the College for Health Profession programs.

loretto heights alumni panel in 2016


Years of ground breaking academic excellence
Alumni and counting...
Nursing degree and certificate programs