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Register of the Helen Nahm Papers, 1922-1977
MSS 78-5  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Helen Nahm Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1922-1977
    Collection number: MSS 78-5
    Creator: Nahm, Helen, 1901-1992
    Repository: University of California, San Francisco. Library. Archives and Special Collections.
    San Francisco, California 94143-0840
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Helen Nahm Papers, MSS 78-5, Archives & Special Collections, UCSF Library & CKM


    Helen Nahm was born in Augusta, Missouri on August 17, 1901. She received her early nursing education at the University of Missouri, Columbia (Diploma in Nursing, 1924; A.B., 1926) and soon began her teaching career at the Scott and White Hospital School of Nursing in Temple, Texas. After six years she returned to the University of Missouri School of Nursing as an instructor and in 1935 she was named Director of Nursing there. She obtained her M.S. degree in psychology in 1939 from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; her Ph.D. in educational psychology and general education would be obtained from the same institution in 1946. She was director of the School of Nursing at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, from 1942-1946. In 1946 she accepted directorship of the Division of Nursing at Duke University. Upon leaving Duke University in 1950, Dr. Nahm became associated with the National League for Nursing and she served in the positions of director of the Accrediting Service, director of the Department of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs (1952-1953), and director of the Division of Nursing Education (1953-1957). She was appointed Dean of the School of Nursing at the University of California Medical Center in 1958. She retired as professor and dean in February of 1969.
    While dean of the UCSF School of Nursing from 1958 to 1969, Dr. Nahm established the School's Doctoral of Nursing Science (DNS) program, the first in the West and one of the few in the country at the time. She also introduced and innovative undergraduate program leading to a B.S. degree in Nursing, and an expanded clinical specialty program leading to an M.S. in Nursing. She also created the School's Social & Behavioral Sciences Department, the first basic science department within any school of nursing.
    Honors conferred on Dr. Nahm include an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Missouri; the first Citation of Merit in Nursing from the Alumni Association of the University of Missouri; the Adelaide Nutting Award from the National League for Nursing; and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Cincinnati.
    Dr. Nahm died on May 23, 1992.

    Scope and Content

    Writings, correspondence, speeches, reports, programs, clippings, award citations, and photographs.

    Related Material

    The bulk of Dr. Nahm's papers are to be found at the Nursing Archives, Mugar Memorial Library, Boston University.