Remembering Dr. Frances M. McLaughlin N’45

Frances BcLaughlin

Dr. Frances M. McLaughlin N’45, founder of Bloomfield College’s Presbyterian Division of Nursing, our Nursing Division’s founding name, passed away at the age of 97 on May 23, 2021.

Fran was greatly respected for her high standards, strong work ethic and devotion to her students. She had vision, broad-based knowledge and skills, and worked tirelessly to identify funding to begin a nursing baccalaureate program at Bloomfield College. In 1967, with enough seed money to get started, the process of developing a curriculum began, and in 1968 the first nursing classes were held on campus. In 1972, the first class of students from the Presbyterian Division of Nursing at Bloomfield College graduated with Bachelor of Science degrees in nursing.

The Presbyterian Division of Nursing at Bloomfield College had a long, respected history prior to joining the College in 1968. The school was founded in 1912 as the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing in Newark as a training site for young women wanting to become registered nurses. Fran graduated from the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing in 1945 and became a teacher there in 1949. In 1962, she became the school’s director and soon began investigating the possibility of moving the school of nursing to a college in order to confer baccalaureate degrees to the nursing students. Through much perseverance, her vision became reality.

In 1990, Fran was the recipient of an honorary degree from Bloomfield College. And, on September 17, 2009, the Presbyterian Division of Nursing was renamed the Frances M. McLaughlin Division of Nursing in her honor. As part of Bloomfield College's Sesquicentennial Anniversary in 2018, Fran was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Excellence for her distinguished service, dedication to the nursing profession and commitment to the future nurses and graduates of Bloomfield College. The Presidential Medal of Excellence, a rare honor bestowed upon only a few select individuals who best exemplify leadership, diversity, engagement and the ideals of Bloomfield College, had been last conferred over a decade prior.

“A distinguished leader in the history of Bloomfield College, Fran will be greatly missed by so many. Our condolences, thoughts and prayers are with Fran’s family, friends and former colleagues and students,” said Bloomfield College President Marcheta P. Evans. “The contributions she made in the life of our institution and in the lives of our students are vast and will live in perpetuity.”

Visitation is scheduled on Thursday, May 27 from 3-7 p.m. at Weatherhead Young Funeral Home, 885 Mantoloking Rd., Brick, NJ 08723. The funeral service will be held that evening at 6:30 p.m. Interment is private. A Celebration of Life will be held this summer (date to be announced).

Gifts in Fran's memory may be made to the Frances M. McLaughlin Endowed Scholarship Fund by clicking here. Checks made payable to Bloomfield College (with the Frances M. McLaughlin Endowed Scholarship Fund in the memo section) can be mailed to the Office of Institutional Advancement, 68 Oakland Avenue, Bloomfield, NJ 07003. If you have any questions or need additional information on making a gift in Fran's memory, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at

© Bloomfield College 467 Franklin St. Bloomfield, NJ 07003 973-748-9000