Luther P. Christman, PhD, RN, FAAN
Throughout a nursing career that has spanned 65 years, Luther Christman, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been a champion for improving professional nursing practice and elevating the educational level of the nursing profession. He established a premier school of nursing that pioneered the practitioner-teacher role and science-based academic models from the baccalaureate through the doctorate levels. As founder and dean of the Rush University College of Nursing, his name is often linked to the “Rush Model,” a unified approach to nursing education and practice that continues to set new standards of excellence in the United States and abroad.
Basic tenets of Christman’s nursing philosophy focus on providing the best clinical care for patients, developing an expanded practice role for nurses through advanced education and elevating the status and sphere of influence of professional nursing. Christman also was an early leader in the development of the role of the clinical nurse specialist. Through practice, research and publications he helped identify the value of the clinical nurse specialist in providing quality patient care.
A champion of diversity in nursing, Christman was the first male to be named dean of a nursing school in the United States. As dean of Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing, he was the first to employ African-American women as faculty at Vanderbilt. Christman strongly supported the recruitment of more men into the nursing profession. He was the founder of the American Association for Men in Nursing, as well as a founder of the National Student Nurses Association.
A visionary leader in nursing, Christman has served as an innovator and consultant to nursing schools, health care agencies and professional organizations in nursing and medicine around the globe. He is a national treasure in nursing and health care.