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Barbara Thoman Curtis, RN

(1938-2015)

2014 Inductee

Florida Nurses Association

Barbara Thoman Curtis has been active in virtually every aspect of organized nursing for more than 50 years. She is a steadfast advocate for nurses to be involved in local, state and national political systems. Through her outstanding leadership, dedication and commitment, Ms. Curtis became the quintessential nurse activist, making sustained, lifelong contributions that motivated and educated hundreds of nurses to take an active role in health policy and political action. Her advocacy efforts, and those she influenced, have improved the lives of nurses and the citizens of our country.

Ms. Curtis served as president of the Missouri State Student Nurses Association while a student at the Independence Sanitarium and Hospital in Independence, Missouri.

After graduation, she moved to Washington State, where she taught at two diploma nursing programs and became an active member of the Washington State Nurses Association.

In 1970, Ms. Curtis was elected president of the Washington State Nurses Association. During her presidency, Ms. Curtis was instrumental in developing one of the first nursing political action committees in Washington State. The political action committee was called PUNCH, which stands for Politically United Nurses for Consumer Health.

Additionally, Ms. Curtis spearheaded ANA’s first political action committee. In 1974, the Nurses Coalition for Action in Politics (N-CAP) was established. Ms. Curtis served as its first elected chair. N-CAP is now known as ANA-PAC. Ms. Curtis was first elected an ANA delegate in 1968; over the years, she has served in a number of positions, including as a member of the ANA Board of Directors, ANA secretary and chair of the ANA Committee on Bylaws.

In 1984, the American Nurses Foundation awarded the first Barbara Curtis Scholarship in her honor. Barbara Thoman Curtis’s innovative political approaches built partnerships and led to beneficial organizational and process changes. In 1992, ANA established the Barbara Thoman Curtis Award, which is presented to a nurse who has made significant contributions to nursing practice and health policy through political and legislative activity.

Barbara Thoman Curtis Hall of Fame Video

Pearl McIver, MS, RN

(1893–1976)

2014 Inductee

The late Pearl McIver created an enduring legacy in the field of public health nursing, a journey that began when she took a position with the United States Public Health Service in 1922.

There, she served 35 years in several divisions, from the Maternal and Child Health Division to the Office of Public Health Nursing, before becoming the chief nurse in the United States Public Health Service Bureau of State Services. In this role, Ms. McIver built the foundation of public health nursing and remained active in preventing disease and promoting health and wellness.

Her dedication and knowledge of the nursing profession established nursing programs across state and local levels, which effectively employed more than 3,500 nurses during the Great Depression. Her ability to lead people to solutions and build partnerships helped strengthen the nursing profession.

Ms. McIver’s most noted leadership role in nursing was as chair of the Joint Coordinating Committee, where she paved the way for the unification of five nursing organizations into two, the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the National League for Nursing.

Additionally, Ms. McIver served in leadership roles with ANA for nearly 20 years, including president of ANA from 1948 to 1950. She was a former president and editor of the American Journal of Nursing and vice president of the American Public Health Association, where she led the establishment of the Nursing Section. Additionally, McIver served as chair of the Federal Nursing Council, a member of the World Health Organization’s Expert Panel on Nursing, chair of the International Council of Nurses Constitution Committee and vice-chair of the American Nurses Foundation.

To recognize and honor Pearl McIver’s remarkable accomplishments, the first Public Health Nurse Award was bestowed upon her by ANA’s Public Health Nurses Section in 1956. This award, later renamed in her honor, recognizes the outstanding professional contribution of one public health nurse.

Ms. McIver died in 1976 at age 83; however, her immense contributions still impact the Public Health Service and the nursing profession.

Mary Ellen Patton, RN

Ohio Nurses Association

2014 Inductee

Mary Ellen Patton has distinguished herself for a generation of commitment to the profession and is well recognized for her contribution to the economic and general welfare movement. She has been a committed and outspoken advocate for improving the working conditions of all registered nurses regardless of setting.

In the 1960s, she co-led a 13-day mass resignation action. She believed registered nurses in the state of Ohio were undervalued and was determined to change the wages and benefits for all registered nurses making less than $2.00 per hour. Mrs. Patton’s efforts spearheaded the economic and general welfare program in Ohio and led to the Ohio Nurses Association’s (ONA) first bargaining unit.

Mrs. Patton has exemplified the qualities of a staff nurse leader for more than 20 years as a local, district, state and national officer. She served on the ANA Board of Directors for eight years while also serving as ONA’s treasurer for four of those years. Patton has continually served the local unit and district in many capacities. Mrs. Patton has shown staff nurses that it is not only important to be involved but it is also possible to do so as a busy staff nurse.

She championed the staff nurses’ role in determining their own work environment and not relying on others to tell nurses what was best for the care they needed to deliver.

She has been an inspirational role model and mentor to nurses across the United States. As an often-requested speaker, Patton was a founding member of the Institute of Constituent Member Collective Bargaining Programs and the ANA Staff Nurse Caucus.

Mrs. Patton has won a host of awards throughout her career. In 1995, ANA established the Mary Ellen Patton Staff Nurse Leadership Award in her honor, and she was its first recipient. Among other honors, she has received ANA’s Shirley Titus Award, the Ohio Nurses Association Diamond Jubilee Nurse Award, the YMCA Woman of the Year award and the Youngstown Recognition of Leadership award. Patton’s dedication and commitment to nursing continue to serve as an inspiration to all.

Robert V. Piemonte, EdD, RN, CAE, FAAN

ANA-New York

2014 Inductee

Robert V. Piemonte has had a distinguished and extraordinarily diverse nursing career; his commitment to the advancement of nursing has led to the transformation and implementation of the highest standards in the nursing profession.

In 2008, Dr. Piemonte was recognized as a “living legend” by the American Academy of Nursing and has dedicated his life’s work to ensuring that the nursing profession has a strong foundation for future nurses.

Dr. Piemonte promoted the development of nursing students, as executive director of the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) from 1985 to 1996. He was the first man with a doctorate in nursing to lead the organization. During his term, membership in NSNA doubled from 20,000 to 40,000.

Dr. Piemonte also served as executive director of the New Jersey State Nurses Association from 1978 to 1980 and has held leadership positions with the American Nurses Association (ANA).

He has held several leadership positions in nursing service administration, including with the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation. While serving in these, Dr. Piemonte was also an educator for several colleges’ and universities’ nursing programs. He strived to enhance nursing education and was a strong advocate for developing curricula that would take nursing to the next level.

Throughout his career, Dr. Piemonte has received numerous honorary and prestigious awards, including ANA’s Honorary Recognition and Luther Christman Awards and the R. Louise McManus Medal from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Additionally, he has been recognized for his contributions to nursing by New York University and Villanova University and has received alumni achievement awards from Columbia University and Long Island University.

Dr. Piemonte currently serves in various roles, including as a member of the New York University College of Nursing Advisory Board, chair of the American Academy of Nursing Development Committee and chair of the Individual Gifts Committee of the National League for Nursing.

His commitment to the nursing profession will continue to enrich nursing scholarship and literature across the nation.

Dr. Piemonte’s distinguished and diverse career has spanned more than five decades and has advanced nursing education and the profession.

Rear Admiral Jessie M. Scott

(1915–2009)

2014 Inductee

Pennsylvania State Nurses Association

The late Rear Admiral Jessie M. Scott was respected for her integrity and ability to utilize the resources of the government to improve the nursing profession nationally and internationally. Her dedication and commitment to nursing served as an inspiration to all registered nurses.

Rear Admiral Scott received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1943 and her master’s degree in personnel administration from Columbia University in 1949.

She then became assistant executive secretary of the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, a position she held until she entered the Public Health Service, Division of Nursing, in 1955.

Rear Admiral Scott became the deputy chief of the service in 1957. In 1964, the surgeon general appointed her the second director of nursing. Rear Admiral Scott was assistant surgeon general in the U.S. Public Health Service and led the Division of Nursing for 15 years. She was instrumental in the passage and implementation of the Nurse Training Act. Her career led her to address nursing shortages from Arkansas to Connecticut and later to work with nursing education programs in India, Egypt, Liberia and Kenya.

Rear Admiral Scott received 16 honorary degrees, and the University of Maryland established the Jessie M. Scott Health Policy Award in her honor.

In 1973, Rear Admiral Scott was recognized as a “living legend” by the American Academy of Nursing and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal of the Public Health Service that same year. She also received the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) Honorary Recognition Award in 1972.

Additionally, ANA established the Jessie M. Scott Leadership Award in 1979, which is presented to a registered nurse whose accomplishments in a field of practice, education or research demonstrate the interdependence of these elements and their significance in the improvement of nursing and health care.

After retirement from the Public Health Service, Division of Nursing, in 1979, Rear Admiral Scott lectured at George Mason University and at the University of Maryland’s graduate nursing program, as well as at the University of Texas, and she remained active in international nursing issues and public health policy projects until her death in 2009.

Rear Admiral Scott was a pioneer, and her legacy will continue to strengthen the nursing profession nationally and internationally.

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The American Nurses Foundation is a separate charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation does not engage in political campaign activities or communications.

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