• The Sage Colleges offers a variety of educational opportunities for future and current R.N.s.
    The Sage Colleges offers a variety of educational opportunities for future and current R.N.s.

History of the Department of Nursing

(Jump to History of The Sage Colleges)

The Department of Nursing began in 1922 at Russell Sage College and was first associated with two local hospitals in Troy and Schenectady, New York. Students completed three years of college courses and two years in residence at the Hospital Nursing Program.

In November 2012, "90 Years of Nursing at Sage" was celebrated with an anniversary event attended by the Sage community, alumni, faculty emeritus and regional leaders. Karen Drenkard. PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, Executive Director of ANCC and a nursing graduate of RSC, was the keynote speaker.

In her keynote address, she spoke of the long history of nursing at Sage; the need for nurses to become transformational leaders and bring to fruition, the vision of health care for the American public.

"Nurses should not be the least-educated group in the hospital. We are the only ones who are at the patient's bedside 24 hours a day."

Karen Drenkard, RN, Ph.D. 

A Brief History

1916: Russell Sage College was founded by Oliva Slocum Sage as a "school of practical arts." 

1922: The New York State Board of Regents approves a five-year course ins nursing in conjunction with Samaritan Hospital and Ellis Hospital.

1927: The school's first bachelor's degree in nursing was awarded to RSC student Ethel Spears.

1941: RSC became accredited by the National League of Nursing.

1965: The master of science in nursing was offered for the first time.

2007: Sage offers the first Doctor of Nursing Science degree in New York's Capital Region.

In the 1960’s, a graduate program in nursing began. Students presently pursue full or part-time studies with a focus on adult-gerontology or community health populations within the nurse educator, nurse executive-administrator or clinical nurse specialist tracks. In addition, students may pursue nurse practitioner tracks in: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care, Family or Psychiatric Mental Health. Within the Post-Master’s Certificate Program, students may also choose these same tracks or the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner track. 

The Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS) program is cohort based and prepares expert nurses to be innovative, transformational educators and leaders in both academic and health care environments.

The Baccalaureate and Master’s in Nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). One Dupont Circle, N.W., Suite 530, Washington, D.C., 20036. (202) 887-6791. All nursing programs are registered with the New York State Education Dept (NYSED).



History of The Sage Colleges

Margaret Olivia Slocum founded Russell Sage College (RSC) in 1916, in honor of her late husband. With Eliza Kellas, head of the Emma Willard School, Mrs. Sage was active in the women’s suffrage movement. The founding of the new college, focused upon educating women with liberal arts education for professional careers.

Originally, the college operated under the charter of the Emma Willard School and graduated its first Baccalaureate degree in 1918. By 1927, however, the New York State Education Department granted a separate charter for RSC and reaffirmed the status of Emma Willard as a secondary school.  

In 1995, the official name of Russell Sage College was changed to The Sage Colleges to reflect enrollment of more than 3,000 students across: Russell Sage College, Sage College of Albany, the School of Professional and Continuing Education, The Esteves School of Education, the School of Health Sciences and the School of Management.

Today, Bachelors’ and Masters’ degrees are confirmed across more than 50 programs. In addition, three doctoral programs currently exist: Doctor of Nursing Science; Doctor of Education; and Doctor of Physical Therapy.  

The Sage Colleges encompass two campuses (Albany and Troy, New York) that serve a vibrant residential and commuter student population; and provide cultural enrichment and educational events/programs that reflect the academic rigor of the community and visiting scholars and artists.

The Sage College of Albany and the School of Professional and Continuing Education prepare men and women for professional roles through applied studies and emphasize new and emerging professions in the arts and design, communication and legal studies, and more traditional, liberal arts and science programs.  

Overall, the Colleges represent an energetic community of faculty and students who embody disciplinary integration across innovative programs including: the Discovery Degree (Your Bachelor’s in Three) offering exploration of the Hudson River Valley; Innovation Thinking (i.Think) whereby students practice creative problem solving, critical thinking, leadership, design and community engagement; and the WORLD general education program (Women Owning Responsibility for Learning and Doing).

Additionally, The Esteves School of Education offers an online master’s program and advanced certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism, while RSC hosts the only incubator program housed on a women’s campus (INVEST).