The Chair of Nursing Studies was established in 1972.
In 1954, a proposal was made for a Nurse Tutor Course to be located entirely within the University setting. Funding was sought from the Rockefeller Foundation for the foundation a Nurse Training Unit. This was granted in 1956, following a visit from Mary Elizabeth Tennant, Assistant Director of the Rockefeller Foundation's International Health Division.
In 1956, Elsie Stephenson (1916-1967) was appointed as the first director of the newly founded unit, with a remit to develop nurse education and to establish a research base for the discipline. The unit was initially based in George square but in 1957 moved to Chalmers Street and was renamed the Nursing Studies Unit.
In 1959, Audrey L. John achieved the first PhD in Nursing for her thesis 'A Study of the Psychiatric Nurse and his/her Role in the Care of the Mentally Sick'.
In 1960, in a pioneering move, the first nursing registration programme integrated with a five-year Master of Arts commenced. A two-year programme in Advanced Nursing Education with Registered Nurse Teacher status is established. 1962 The first International School of Advanced Nursing Studies is launched supported by the WHO. It offers programmes to overseas students in nursing administration or education. 1963 Foundations of Anatomy and Physiology by Janet S Ross and Kathleen J Wilson (lecturer) is first published; a major nursing textbook now in its 12th edition. The University creates a Faculty of Social Sciences incorporating the Department of Nursing Studies. The first edition of International Journal of Nursing Studies is published with Elsie Stephenson as honorary editor. 1965 The Integrated Degree programme is replaced by the BSc Social Science (Nursing). The Nursing Studies Association is established.