Irma Kyle Kramer, RN, MS



Irma Kyle Kramer, RN, MS


In 1946, the School of Nursing came under new leadership in the form of Irma Kyle Kramer, RN, SM. During the next two decades, the School of Nursing initiated a nursing degree program, gained national accreditation, and began providing continuing education opportunities for registered nurses in the state.

From Fairfield, Iowa, Mrs. Kramer graduated magna cum laude from Parsons College in 1932. After teaching in a rural Iowa school for two years, she enrolled in the Evanston Hospital School of Nursing in Illinois, receiving a diploma in 1937. She earned a Master of Science Degree from the University of Chicago in 1940, and then served as an instructor at the Cook County Hospital School of Nursing for six years.

When Mrs. Kramer became Director of the University of Nebraska School of Nursing in 1946, the School offered a three-year diploma program and a five-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science Degree. In the early 1950's, these programs were discontinued and a four-year Bachelor of Science in nursing curriculum was established. The new program reflected Mrs. Kramer's recognition of the need for college-educated nurses with general as well as professional education.

During the next few years, Mrs. Kramer continued to grow, refine, and improve the nursing program. With this growth, Mrs. Kramer saw a need for new, larger facilities. Securing the funds for construction, the new School of Nursing building was dedicated in 1957 and contained modern instructional spaces and residence quarters for students. In 1963, the faculty members of the School of Nursing were freed of all nursing responsibilities in the University Hospital, allowing them to devote their full energies to the instruction of students. Two years later, Mrs. Kramer saw the School achieve one of its major goals - accreditation by the National League of Nursing.

In 1966, Mrs. Kramer resigned as director, but her leadership in nursing education continued. She obtained a sabbatical leave to study adult and continuing education at the University of Chicago, and then returned to the school in 1967 to become the first director of continuing education for nursing, a position she held until retirement in 1972. Mrs. Kramer passed away in 1993.

Mrs. Kramer was active in many professional organizations. She served as president of Altrusa International and the Nebraska Nurses' Association, was vice president of the Nebraska League for Nursing, and was a member of the State Board of Nursing. She was an honorary member of the College of Nursing Alumni Association and an emeritus professor of the College of Nursing.

In 1981, the College of Nursing presented Irma Kyle Kramer with the Distinguished Service to Nursing Award for her contributions to nursing and nursing education. The College of Nursing established the Irma Kyle Kramer Award for Academic Excellence in her honor. The award is given annually to a student from each campus with the highest GPA.


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