History of the Institute

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.

On the 8th of June 1913 – exactly one hundred years ago – the study plan and examination regulations for “senior nurses, mother superiors and social welfare nurses” at the “Women’s University of Leipzig” were approved in cooperation with the Faculties of Medicine, Philosophy and probably also of Law at the University of Leipzig. The aim of the study plan is described as training nurses “who carry out their nursing duties with full understanding and who are able to comprehend the wide correlations in the larger fields of activity in which they will be working in the future.”

The Institute for Health and Nursing Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine at the University Halle-Wittenberg follows this tradition and sees it as their duty to continue these study courses, which had not survived the National Socialist era, probably due to the Jewish background of Hinrichsen, its sponsor, who was murdered in the Auschwitz KZ in 1942.

At the beginning of the second century of Health and Nursing Sciences at universities in the heart of Germany, the Symposium wishes not only to remember the first century but also to discuss the perspectives at the beginning the second century.

Welcoming speeches

  • Speech by a member of the State Government
  • Prof. Dr. Beate A. Schücking, Rector of the University of Leipzig
  • Prof. Dr. Theda Borde, Rector of the Alice-Salomon-University Berlin
  • Dr. Jürgen Gohde, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the German Society for the Aged (Deutsche Altershilfe (KDA)), Cologne

100 years after 08.06.1913: Study courses in nursing and therapy at universities

The Science Council presents for discussion its recommendations on higher education qualifications for the healthcare system.

  • Dr. Beatrix Schwörer, head of the Science Council’s Department of Medicine  
    • Recommendations on higher education qualifications for the healthcare system
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Günter Ollenschläger, head of the  Medical Center for Quality in Medicine, a joint institution of the German Medical Association and the German Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians
    • 100 years of courses in nursing and healthcare at universities in the heart of Germany - a Statement

Not in the curriculum 100 years ago: Nursing and Therapy Sciences - Independent Sciences?

Moderation: Prof. Dr. Gabriele Meyer

  • Prof. Dr. Johann Behrens: Introductory Theses
  • Prof. Dr. Gerd Antes, Director of the German Cochrane Center
  • Prof. Dr. Annegret Horbach, University of Applied Sciences, Frankfurt am Main


Historical recollections and career paths

  • Ms. Ingrid Horn, graduated nurse and retired nursing director of the University Clinic Halle
  •  Ms. Jana Luntz, graduated nursing scientist and nursing director of the University Clinic Tübingen
  • Ms. Christiane Becker, graduated nursing scientist, Nursing Research and Development at the University Clinic Halle

Evaluation of the PhD Programme

"Participation as the aim of nursing and therapy"

  • Dr. Christiane Luderer