The School of Nursing can be traced back to the Xiehe Nurse School of Shanghai Xi’men Maternal and Child Hospital, which was established in 1920. It became the Nurse School of Shanghai First Medical College in 1952 as a result of its merger with two other nurse schools. In 1997  it transforms into the School of Nursing of Shanghai Medical University among the first group of nursing colleges in China. The current name was adopted upon the merger of then Shanghai Medical University with Fudan University in 2000. 

There are 10 departments and 1 training center with a total of 1,000 students. It particularly prides itself on being among the first colleges to offer a post-doctoral position. It now offers, among other academic programs at various levels, doctoral programs and master programs in Level 1 disciplines. 

The School is well established in such areas as the specialty-specific and the disease-specific care, the advanced evidence-based nursing practice, the geriatric and the community nursing, and the reform in higher nursing education. It pioneers particularly in EBN in China with the Joanna Briggs Centre of Evidence-based Nursing cofounded by the Joanna Briggs Institute (Australia) and Fudan University, the first of its kind in China. The School also partners with other nursing schools and institutes all over the world, including the School of Nursing of University of Pittsburgh (USA), the School of Nursing of Duke University (USA), the School of Nursing of Lund University (Sweden), and the School of Nursing of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.