Nursing education began at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1932 with a one-year public health nursing program for graduates of hospital schools of nursing and in 1944, a Bachelor of Scienc
e degree was offered in public health nursing and nursing education. In 1951 the School of Nursing, under the College of Applied Science, was established by the legislature of the Territory of Hawaii, and in 1952 the Hawaii Board of Nursing approved the BS in nursing program for beginning students. The School became an independent College of Nursing in 1959. In 1965, the Associate in Science program in nursing and the Master of Science in nursing were established. In 1966, the College of Health Sciences and Social Welfare - made up of medicine, nursing and dental hygiene, and social work was established to provide a coordinated interdisciplinary approach to the solution of problems common to the fields.
Dental hygiene education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa began in 1931 with a four to five year curricula as part of the Teacher's College, where graduates received both a Bachelor's in Education and a 5th Year Certificate. In 1961, the dental hygiene program joined the College of Nursing and offered a Certificate in Dental Hygiene upon completion of a two-year curriculum. From 1976 to 1983, the Department of Dental Hygiene offered baccalaureate education as a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies-Dental Hygiene. In 1983, the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene was established.
In 2000, the School of Nursing changed its name to reflect the contribution of both departments to health sciences education and is now known as the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene. On November 12, 2002, the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene celebrated its 70th anniversary of providing nursing education programs at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In 2005, the WASC approved the redesigned PhD in Nursing program for online delivery making it the first UHM PhD program offered using this method of instruction.