The Faculty of Nursing, in its current form, was established in 2000. Prior to that it had been an academic department of nursing, related to the Faculty of Medicine. The Faculty of Nursing is young, but the history of nursing and midwifery in Iceland, and the education of these professions, has a long history. An academic programme in nursing was first offered at the University of Iceland in 1973, but up until 1986 nursing was also taught at the Nursing College of Iceland. Since 1986 nursing in Iceland has only been taught at a university level. The education of midwifes was moved from the Midwifery College of Iceland to the academic department in nursing in 1996. The elevation of nursing and midwifery education to the university level significantly changed the education of those professions in Iceland, and the Faculty of Nursing (formerly the academic department of nursing) has been at the forefront of undergraduate education in nursing and midwifery in the Western countries.
As is the case with all faculties at the University of Iceland, the Faculty of Nursing operates in accordance with University of Iceland policies on research and education. The faculty engages almost 40 tenured lecturers, in addition to a number of sessional teachers. Nursing and midwifery are professionally-oriented subjects, and students who graduate must have the skills and knowledge necessary to provide professional and secure nursing and midwifery services, geared towards mental, physical and social health.