M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN
Pennsylvania State Nurses Association
Dr. Marie Louise Fitzpatrick was a visionary leader and champion for the nursing profession. Prior to her passing in August 2017, Dr. Fitzpatrick was passionate about international health care and nursing education.
Dr. Fitzpatrick was the Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor of the College of Nursing at Villanova University – a position she had held since 1978. She expanded the College’s academic programs by initiating master’s and doctoral programs, as well as an accelerated BSN program for second-degree students. During her tenure, the College was repeatedly recognized by the National League of Nursing (NLN) as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.
Active in higher education accreditation since 1972, Dr. Fitzpatrick served as an accreditation visitor for the Middle States Association, NLN and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Some of her other leadership roles included: serving as a member of the External Advisory Committee for the Rafic Hariri School of Nursing at the University of Beirut and the Radnor Township (PA) Board of Health; sitting on boards for the American Association of Colleges, the Mercy Health System, NLN and Nurses Educational Funds, Inc.; and serving as chair of the Cabinet of Nursing Education for the American Nurses Association. Dr. Fitzpatrick was also a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurses and acted as a consultant to numerous schools of nursing and health agencies in the United States and abroad.
Dr. Fitzpatrick’s research preparation and publications were in the area of nursing history, education and public health. Her book publications include The National Organization for Pubic Nursing, Development of a Practice Field and Prologue to Professionalism, and co-authorship on Nursing in Society. Dr. Fitzpatrick was the recipient of several honors and awards, some of the most notable include the Global Citizen Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pennsylvania Nurses Association, the Award for Outstanding Leadership in Nursing from NNL, and being name one of the 25 Distinguished Women Leaders in the Philadelphia Area in 2008.
In December 2017, Villanova announced the naming of the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, in her honor. In recognition of her commitment to promoting education for students in countries around the world, she also has two scholarships in her name.
Dr. Fitzpatrick embodied the spirit of what it means to be a nurse and she is remembered as a pioneer in her field.