Aultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences—it’s more likely known as Aultman College these days—has greatly enlarged both its identity and its programs in the last decade.
“Most people know us for nursing,” said Deanna Woolf, marketing coordinator at Aultman College. “Last year, we celebrated our 125th anniversary of the founding of the school of nursing. We became Aultman College in 2004 and expanded our offerings. We’re proud of our nursing program, but we have a lot more programs now.”
The history of Aultman College stems from the recognition by its founding institution, Aultman Hospital, of “the need for a qualified and educated staff of health care professionals,” said a history provided online by Aultman.
“In 1892, the Aultman Hospital Training School for Nurses opened in the north end of the hospital,” the history continues. “The only requirement for a student to enter the two-year program was ‘a desire to care for the sick.’ The first class consisted of three students, but only one completed the program. Emma Lupher, who made her own uniform, was awarded her nursing diploma on May 2, 1894 and is recognized as the first Aultman graduate.”
According to the history, the school received approval from the state of Ohio on January 1, 1916, and was called Aultman Hospital School of Nursing.
“Since that time, thousands of nurses have graduated from the diploma program,” said the history records, “and gone on to work in health care settings locally and throughout the world.”
Aultman College now offers a bachelor of science degree in nursing, but also education in radiography and health science, as well as social work beginning this fall, Woolf said.
“These other programs still have the connection to health care,” she noted. “There are a lot of social workers in the health care field.”
When studying health science, students can concentrate on health care administration or health education, said Woolf. The latter is not teaching, it’s facilitating health care in an era made complicated by both the rules of federal health programs and the terminology of medicine itself.
“People are needed to work with patients to help them understand the process,” explained Woolf, noting that graduates might work with doctors’ offices and nonprofit organizations. “We’ve all been to a doctor’s office and wondered, ‘What did he just say?’ ”
As might be expected, extracurricular activities at Aultman College are at a minimum. It is located on the campus of Aultman Hospital, where the focus is on health care.
“We’re not like a typical college,” said Woolf. “We don’t have sports teams or bands. But, if you know you want to go into a health field, we’re the place for students to focus on their education. We’re very small here, but we’re small and caring.”
Graduation rates historically have been high at the college, she said. Radiography graduated 100 percent of students in the program in 2017, according to tracking by the school.
Just as important as the graduation rate in the nursing program, perhaps, are statistics concerning the rate at which graduated students pass licensing tests. Woolf noted that 90 percent of Aultman students were able to pass licensing tests to become registered nurses in 2017.
“We’re known for being a tough school. Our programs are rigorous, and we don’t apologize for that,” she said. “Our students are literally taking care of people in life and death situations. When they graduate from here, we want them to be prepared.”
• 228 students from Stark County
• 9.2 average credit hours
• 27 percent full-time
• 73 percent part-time
• 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio
• 27.8 average age
• 89 percent female
• 11 percent male
• $17,000 tuition per year (12-18 credit hours/semester)