American University of Beirut

Mission, Vision, History


​The mission of the Rafic Hariri School of Nursing is to promote and maintain the highest educational standards of excellence, integrity, and professionalism in nursing, following the American model of nursing education and practice. The school aims to provide learning opportunities that will enable students to develop into competent nurses who respect cultural diversity while coordinating and delivering high–quality, compassionate nursing care in Lebanon and beyond, guided by ethical principles. The faculty believes education is an interactive process between faculty and students with both taking responsibility for active learning. The baccalaureate program, drawn primarily from the humanities, sciences, and caring disciplines, focuses on the use of nursing theory and research as a basis for practice. The master’s program focuses on preparing nurses for advanced nursing practice roles. It is based on the use and generation of research-based knowledge to guide practice. The PhD program in Nursing Science aims to provide rigorous training for research careers in nursing and healthcare. The program is intended to produce research scientists who will make significant and original contributions to nursing practice, health promotion, health maintenance, population health and health care delivery. Nursing students at AUB learn to think critically, develop professional attitudes and leadership skills, and appreciate the value of life-long learning and freedom of speech.  


The Rafic Hariri School of Nursing aspires to become the leading school of nursing in Lebanon and the region; nationally and internationally recognized for excellence in education, research, and service. The school is committed to offering cutting-edge culturally relevant and internationally recognized graduate and undergraduate education, fostering life​long learning and scholarship, developing the leaders in nursing and health care, and attracting a competent and culturally-diverse student body.

Historical Background 

The School of Nursing, founded in 1905, was the first nursing school in the Middle East. The five-year bachelor of science in nursing program, established in 1936, was replaced in 1964 by a four-year program leading to the degree of bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). Students entering the school as sophomores graduate in three calendar years. A two-year associate degree in the nursing program was established in 1980 and discontinued in 1984. The RN-BSN program was reactivated and launched in 2003. The master of science in nursing program (MSN) was launched in 2004 and the PhD in nursing science program will be launched in 2018. The BSN and MSN programs are registered by the Department of Education of New York State, HEGIS code 1203.00 & 1203.10 respectively. Both BSN and MSN programs received accreditation and reaccreditation in 2007 and 2012 respectively from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in the US. HSON is the first school of nursing outside the United States to receive CCNE accreditation. 

The Rafic Hariri School of Nursing building was inaugurated on February 19, 2009 after AUB Trustee PM Saad Hariri pledged $10 million to name and endow the school. The old alumni building, which is near AUBMC, was renovated to house the Rafic Hariri School of Nursing.

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