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Nurse.com kicks off anniversary by celebrating 25 key nursing figures

Monday January 14, 2013
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In recognition of the 25th anniversary of Nurse.com (Nursing Spectrum), the magazine will celebrate 25 key members of the New York/New Jersey nursing community.

Throughout the year, these "pillars" in the nursing community will be recognized in each issue of the magazine for their immense contributions to the profession.

These nurses have served as change agents, mentors, teachers, guideposts, advisers and supporters of their fellow nurses and the profession.

Susan Hassmiller, RN, PhD, FAAN

Hassmiller is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation senior adviser for nursing, and in partnership with the AARP, directs the foundation’s Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. The initiative strives to increase access to high-quality, patient-centered care in a healthcare system where nurses contribute as essential partners in achieving success, she said.

This 49-state effort aims to implement the recommendations of the IOM’s 2010 report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” for which she served as the study director.

“I have loved every part of my professional journey,” said Hassmiller, whose outstanding career also includes volunteer work for the American Red Cross in disaster relief efforts in the U.S. and abroad, after tornadoes in the Midwest, Hurricane Andrew, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia. She served on the national Red Cross board of governors and now is a member of the National Nursing Committee and board chairwoman for the Central New Jersey Red Cross.

Drawn to the foundation’s “organizational advocacy for the less fortunate and underserved,” Hassmiller now is working diligently to ensure RWJF’s commitments to nursing have a broad and lasting national impact on healthcare. She believes the rapid expansion and use of technology, the increased demand for documentation, the development of many, varied roles in nursing and the IOM report all have had a major impact on the profession during the past 25 years.

“When I look back on those who have influenced me, and there are many, I am most grateful to my mother, a 1947 Bellevue New York City School of Nursing graduate,” Hassmiller said. “She never pushed me into nursing, but rather showed me by her example that nursing is an honorable and important profession. I watched how she helped patients and how appreciative they were of her care.”

Beverly L. Malone, RN, PhD, FAAN

Malone serves as CEO of the New York City-based National League for Nursing, dedicated to excellence in nursing education. She collaborates with other national nursing leadership organizations, develops public policy initiatives and has created seven new centers of nursing education and an education network for the International Council of Nurses.

Building collaborative partnerships and collegial relationships nationally and internationally has been a hallmark of Malone’s prestigious career. She was the president of the American Nurses Association, working closely with the White House and Congress, the first nurse to serve as the deputy assistant secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C., and the first American to serve as the general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom.

Malone credits the development of the advanced practice role, the Institute of Medicine’s landmark 2010 “Future of Nursing” report, the rise in the number of doctorally prepared nurses and palliative and end-of-life care as significant professional milestones in the past 25 years. Emphasizing the need for nurses to study more about situational leadership, Malone believes nurses can be more effective leaders if they recognize when to take charge and when to maximize others’ leadership capabilities.

“I am also impressed by the number of nurses who realize that the care they deliver at the bedside is influenced by politics, and that they can influence politics to deliver safe care,” she said.

Malone is grateful for the outstanding mentors in her life, who expected great things of her. “I call them ‘warrior women and men,’ because they understand and take on the system, sometimes in incredibly gentle ways, and all of their actions have meaning and purpose,” she said. Malone includes her the great-grandmother who raised her; Hildegarde Peplau, Hattie Bessent, Pat DeLeon, David Thatcher, and Tony Blair as some of those who have had a tremendous influence on her professional life.

KNOW A NURSING PILLAR? Share your thoughts by sending a letter to editorNY@nurse.com.


To comment, email editorNY@nurse.com.