The Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg was the first public, German–language university in Switzerland, Austria and Germany where the Faculty of Medicine consisted not only of physicians but where therapists and nursing scientists were given an equal chance to research, teach, study, do their doctorate, habilitate and do their practical work.
Core competence are evidence-based interventions for self-determined participation as the aim of nursing care and therapy.
In 1988 the faculty founded a “medical education” course of study, which initially trained vocational school teachers for the southern part of the GDR. After 1990 this was extended to include all 16 federal states of Germany. This forerunner study course did not conduct any published research, not even in the main areas of nursing and therapeutic practice. The faculty had no doctoral regulations for its graduates. In 1996, it launched a course of studies in Nursing Science; in 1999, the faculty and the Senate of the University founded the Institute of Health and Nursing Sciences, in which, in addition to the nursing professions, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, speech therapists, diet assistants, midwives and diagnostic-technical professions also study, do their doctorates and habilitate, combining a degree course with vocational training programmes.
As early as 1998, the Institute became the headquarters of the German Center for Evidence-based Nursing "sapere aude" in the international network of these centers, in 2003 it was the headquarters of the nursing research association "Evidence-based care for the chronically ill and those in need of care in difficult communicative situations" (which comprises 14 universities from Berlin to Freiburg and Munich, and since 2004 it has been the headquarters of the division spokesperson for the "Social Sector" division of the DFG Collaborative Research Centre 580.
In 2007, when the German Council of Healthcare Experts published its recommendations for multi-professional teams in the healthcare sector, Halle already complied with them in many important respects. Every year 48 students are enrolled in the Bachelor's programme and 25 students in the Master's programme. The institute is supported by 25 scientists, including 2 professorships. With these courses of study Halle is following on from the first university course in nursing science founded in Leipzig in 1913, which had not survived the First World War and then National Socialism.