history and development

The School of Nursing was born March 19, 1950 and was then designated Overseas Social Action of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. The nuns who completed the course received the Diploma of Missionary Preparation and Tropical Nursing Specialization. This course worked until 1969.

The Sisters prepared with the formation of Tropical Nursing, when returned to the Metropolis, could not practice the Nursing profession. So Mother St. Adozinha and Mother Emaus, anticipating this situation, prepared and requested authorization from the Government to start other Nursing Courses:

  • 1952 – The Nursing Assistants Course begins (it worked until 1975);
  • 1953 – The General Nursing Course begins (ended in 1991);
  • 1990 – The Higher Nursing Course that confers the Bachelor's degree begins;
  • 1999 – The Licentiate in Nursing course begins, which confers the Licentiate degree.


On December 23, 1988, by Dec. Law No. 480/88, Nursing education is integrated into the National Educational System, and the course is renamed Higher Nursing Course and the Schools that provide it, Higher Nursing Schools. On that occasion, the State Schools were immediately converted into Higher Nursing Schools.

At the level of the Province and the Institute of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, this seemed to be the ideal moment to close this work. It didn't take long for us to receive echoes from various health institutions and others, expressing their regret regarding the closure of the School, considering it a great loss, given its important role as the Church's presence in a field as deprived as health.

In order to continue with Nursing Education, it was necessary for the School to be recognized as a Higher School of Nursing, which effectively happened on March 4, 1991, by decree nº 185/91 of Messrs. Ministers of Health and Education.

“If the work is of God, it will continue” said Maria da Paixão, founder of the Congregation of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. The hypothesis of transferring the School to the Union of Portuguese Mercies, which was implemented in 1997 (Dec. Law nº 261/97), becoming the founding entity, until the transfer from the Escola Superior de Enfermagem to CEU Ensino Superior is completed.

At present, the School has its statutes approved and published in the Diário da República and its Study Plan is also recognized and approved (Notice nº 12741/2019, of August 8, 2019).