Health and Medicine

225 years of Tar Heels: Elizabeth Scott Carrington

Elizabeth Scott Carrington was instrumental in founding Carolina's School of Nursing in 1950. The school was the first statewide program of its kind in the nation.

Elizabeth Scott Carrington.
North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill.

225 Years.Editor’s note: In honor of the University’s 225th anniversary, we will be sharing profiles throughout the academic year of some of the many Tar Heels who have left their heelprint on the campus, their communities, the state, the nation and the world.

In 1969, 19 years after its creation, the building housing Carolina’s School of Nursing was named Carrington Hall to honor Elizabeth Scott Carrington. At 67 years old, she received this distinction with gratefulness and joy for the journey she had embarked on with this school.

A native of Alamance County in North Carolina, Carrington had to travel out of state to earn her undergraduate degree in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing in 1926. Carrington then spent the next decade and a half serving the school as a nurse and instructor, earning her master’s of science degree in nursing in 1940.

Carrington returned home to Alamance County in 1941. Both she and her husband were active supporters of North Carolina’s Good Health plan of the 1940s, a campaign to expand medical education and health services. While in Alamance County, Carrington worked in the General Hospital training and supervising nurses and nurses’ aides throughout WWII.

Carrington was also instrumental in founding the bachelor of science in nursing program at the first nationally-accredited nursing school in North Carolina in 1950. The school was the first statewide program of its kind in the nation.

Carrington also traveled around the state to recruit students, secure scholarships and raise funds for the new school. In 1953, Carrington chaired an advisory committee to help formulate policies and develop and promote the school. She also secured $5 million for the school as a recruiter, program planner and fundraiser.