2011 Living Legends

On August 25, 2011 the American Academy of Nursing announced their 2011 Living Legends. The Academy’s highest recognition honored five nurses this year for their notable accomplishments and contributions to nursing in practice, research, and education. The honorees are Patricia Benner, PhD, RN, FAAN; Suzanne Feetham, PhD, RN, FAAN; Ada Sue Hinshaw, PhD, RN, FAAN; Meridean L. Maas, PhD, RN, FAAN; and May L. Wykle, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN. All of the members are fellows of the Academy, one of the qualifications to be nominated for this honor. We noticed some of these honorees have also been a part of Minority Nursehistory!

Benner is Professor Emerita in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco and former Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Her work and research has focused on clinical practice and clinical ethics. She’s written nine books, three of which received Book of the Year awards. “Benner’s Stages of Clinical Competence” from her book, From Novice to Expert, were profiled in a 2008 Minority Nurse article entitled “Achieving Expertise.” Benner received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Pasadena College, her master’s degree in medical surgical nursing from the University of California, San Francisco, and a Ph.D. in Stress and Coping and Health from the University of California, Berkeley.

Feetham is the first non-physician chair of professional and policy organizations, including the Michigan Myelodysplasia Association, the Spina Bifida Association of the America-Medical Advisory groups, and the Michigan Governor’s Commission on Crippled Children. When Feetham was a senior fellow at Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), she was interviewed in the 2003 spring issue of Minority Nurse. The article, “Preparing for the Future,” discussed the opportunities for minority nurses to become more educated and involved in new genetics and genomics.

Hinshaw is current Dean and a Professor at the Graduate School of Nursing, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. She was the former Dean/Professor Emerita at the University of Michigan School of Nursing, and was President of the American Academy of Nursing from 1999–2001. The focus of Hinshaw’s research in nursing has been on quality care, patient outcomes, positive work environments for nurses, and patient safety. She has written numerous articles and books, has served on many scientific committees, and has taught as a visiting professor. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Kansas, her M.S.N from Yale University, and her master’s and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Arizona.

Maas is Professor Emerita at the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa, director of the inaugural John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Excellence, and a member of the inaugural executive board of the Regent’s Center for Nursing Classification and Clinical Effectiveness. She has authored and edited several books, and is a reviewer of multiple journals. Maas has taught and advised many nursing students at the University of Iowa, where she earned her doctorate in sociology of organizations. Maas’s career and academic focuses have been in the areas of nursing administration and gerontological nursing.

Wykle is the first and former African American Dean of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western University, the 24th President of Sigma Theta Tau International, and a recipient of the National Black Nurses Association Lifetime Achievement Award. Her academic interests and research range from geriatric and mental health to nursing administration and minority health care. Her life and career were featured in 2007 in the Minority Nurse article, “From ‘Small-Town Girl’ to Pioneering Nurse Educator.” Wykle earned her B.S.N. in Nursing, M.S.N. in Psych and Mental Health Nursing, and her Ph.D. in Education from Case Western Reserve University. 

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