In 1922, William Jennings Bryan gave his home, Fairview, and surrounding land to the Nebraska Conference of the United Methodist Church for the purpose of establishing a new hospital in Lincoln. From this gift and others, a dream became a reality when the 60-bed Bryan Memorial Hospital opened on June 6, 1926. When Bryan School of Nursing opened the same year with 37 students, Fairview became the student dormitory.
Bryan Medical Center and the School of Nursing built upon the strengths of both organizations to establish Bryan College of Health Sciences, a partnership that provides significant clinical experience to its students.
In 2001, the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education approved the request by Bryan School of Nursing to become a degree-granting institution. To address changing needs in healthcare delivery and education, the College replaced the Diploma program in Nursing with a Baccalaureate program. The first class of students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in August 2003.
Today, Bryan College of Health Sciences includes a School of Health Professions, School of Nurse Anesthesia, School of Nursing, the Research and Professional Practice Center, Center for Excellence in Simulation Education and the divisions of General Education and Educational Technology. The College offers Associate, Baccalaureate, Master's and Doctoral degrees along with Baccalaureate and Post-Master's certificate programs.
Bryan College of Health Sciences is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. The Associate of Science in Cardiovascular Technology program received accreditation from the Council on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in 2004. In August 2005, the School of Health Professions began offering an Associate of Science degree in General Sonography, graduating the first students from the program in May 2007. The Sonography program has now grown into a Baccalaureaute program with majors in Adult Cardiac & Vascular dual major and Diagnostic Medical Sonography beginning in 2012. The program received Initial Accreditation from CAAHEP in 2008. The Baccalaureate Nursing program received accreditation from National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission in 2009.
Soon after Bryan College of Health Sciences received undergraduate degree-granting status, planning began to deliver the graduate-level Nurse Anesthesia program through the College. In May 2005, the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs approved the College's request to transfer its academic affiliation from the University of Kansas to Bryan College of Health Sciences. The Bryan College of Health Sciences' School of Nurse Anesthesia enrolled its first class of Master's students in August 2006 and has progressed to a doctoral level program graduating the first Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice graduates in May of 2017.
In addition to degree-granting programs, the College offers a full complement of General Education in six liberal arts disciplines. The College reinforces its value for evidence-based practice and education through the Research and Professional Practice Center, a division that provides research support for faculty, students, physicians and Bryan Medical Center constituents.
The College has maintained the goal of academic and clinical excellence emphasized by its founders and continues to prepare healthcare providers with professional skills, awareness, interest and concern for health care.
United Methodist Church & Bryan
Bryan College of Health Sciences and Bryan Medical Center were established with a generous donation from William Jennings Bryan and his wife, Mary Baird Bryan. William Jennings Bryan was raised in the Methodist faith and attended Normal Methodist Church located near Fairview, his home, during his time in Lincoln. He and his wife moved to Florida in 1920. In 1922, they donated their home and 10 acres of land to the Nebraska Conference of the United Methodist Church for the purpose of establishing a Protestant hospital.
The new hospital originally was proposed to be named the "Lincoln Methodist Hospital" or "Fairview Methodist Hospital." Shortly after Bryan's death, a member of the Board of Directors of the hospital and long-time friend of Bryan's, Adolphus Talbot, called for the hospital to be named Bryan Memorial Hospital of the Methodist Episcopal in memory of Mr. Bryan.
Bryan School of Nursing was established in 1926, the same year that Bryan Memorial Hospital opened, to educate competent nurses to staff the new facility. Among the student entrance requirements for the Bryan School of Nursing Diploma program, at its inception, was the requirement that candidates be "earnest Christian women."
Bryan Medical Center, with which Bryan College of Health Sciences is affiliated, retains its connection with the United Methodist Church to this day with a standing seat on the Bryan Medical Center Board of Trustees for the Bishop of the Nebraska United Methodist Conference.
Bryan Medical Center continues its commitment to providing quality health care. Today, Bryan Health includes a 620-bed regional medical center, offering a complete range of inpatient and outpatient diagnostic, therapeutic and ancillary services; LifePointe medical health and wellness facility; and the Heartland Health Alliance network, which fosters collaborative efforts throughout the region. The comprehensive care and treatment facilities available at Bryan make it possible for our skilled staff members to provide the most sophisticated and advanced health care.