In December 2009, the centenary year for nursing education in CMC Vellore, the College of Nursing moved out of the main hospital premises to a sprawling new campus in Kagithapattarai, very close to the hospital.
The Nursing Campus includes, apart from the College of Nursing, hostels for student nurses, administrative offices, spacious classrooms, a digital library, conference room and a chapel, surrounding airy courtyards.
CMC opened India’s first College of Nursing which started the graduate nursing course in 1946. However, the Lower Grade Nursing Course for girls began in 1909. Back in the early days, parents were hesitant to send their daughters for training. The nursing pioneers, along with CMC’s founder Dr. Ida Scudder, used to visit schools throughout South India to persuade girls and their parents to choose a career in nursing.
Today, the nursing courses in CMC are much sought after. About 600 students study in the College of Nursing. The courses include diploma, degree (B. Sc Nursing), post certificate B.Sc, M. Sc, Ph.D and post diploma courses in several specialities.
Admission is based on all-India written examinations and interviews. 50 students are admitted into the B.Sc programme each year and the course is affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R Medical University. The annual intake for Diploma Nursing is 100 and it is recognized by the Indian Nursing Council. Various scholarships are available for needy students. At CMC, nursing education and ward work are closely integrated giving enhanced standards of patient care and the highest quality of theoretical and hands-on education.
Public Health Nursing in the Indian context is an important part of the curriculum. The College strongly emphasizes preventive and promotive health. A nurse managed outreach programme, CONCH (College of Nursing Community Health), was launched in 1987. This covers 63,000 people living in 20 villages and semi urban areas adjoining Vellore town.
All nursing students participate and become familiar with needs of the community. Maternal, child health and morbidity clinics and home health services are conducted regularly by the CONCH staff. Referrals are made to CMC and government health care facilities, where necessary.
In 2004, the College of Nursing was designated as a WHO collaborating centre for Nursing and Midwifery development; one of two such centres in India. It has also been given a five-star rating by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council of the University Grants Commission and is a study centre for the national Ph. D. consortium.
In November 2017, the College of Nursing was granted the ‘Nursing Excellence’ certification by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) .CMC Vellore is the largest healthcare institution with a nursing manpower of over 2800, to achieve this honour. Obtaining this certification entailed meeting 48 standards with 216 objective elements covering seven chapters namely, Nursing Resource Management (NRM), Nursing Care of Patients (NCP), Management of Medication (MOM), Education, Communication and Guidance (ECG), Infection Control Practices (ICP), Empowerment and Governance (EG), and Nursing Quality Indicators.
How to get to the campus :
The College of Nursing is located in Kagithapattarai campus one kilometer away from the main campus towards the east. The College of Nursing Chapel, Florence Taylor Memorial Library for nursing students, UG & PG Nursing Students' Hostel and faculty residential areas are located inside the campus. Buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws are available from the Katpadi Railway junction to the Kagithapattarai campus. (Photographs by Abhishek Scaria).