Bridgeport Hospital and Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing (BHSN) were incorporated in 1878 and opened in 1884. At that time, BHSN was one of only 15 nursing schools in the country and exists today as the oldest school of nursing in Connecticut and one of the oldest in the country.
The original school of nursing was located within the main hospital. In 1915, a separate facility for the school of nursing called Elizabeth Oliver Hall was constructed and a new wing was added in 1947. A tunnel under the road was constructed as a walkway for the student nurses that connected the school to the hospital.
The current program is located in this same facility but students no longer live on the premises. The first public graduation exercises were held in 1889 with 6 graduating students. Since its establishment, BHSN has graduated approximately 5000 nurses.
BHSN was originally accredited by the National League for Nursing in 1952 and has maintained its accreditation with ACEN (formerly NLNAC). Traditionally a three year diploma school, the program later transitioned to a two year curriculum. Each academic year, 125 students are admitted to BHSN. The student body is comprised of approximately 250 commuting students who are primarily from the greater Bridgeport area. The second largest cohort of students is from New Haven County.