TRANSITIONS – March 2012

Events in the lives of members and friends in the AACN community

Jeanne Quint Benoliel, an American Academy of Nursing Living Legend who was a pioneer in palliative care, oncology nursing and women’s health, has passed away at the age of 92. Benoliel’s research on patients living with chronic illness and their acceptance of terminal illness and impending death provided groundbreaking models for hospice and palliative care.

She also dedicated herself to educating and mentoring students at the University of Washington, Seattle, while developing an extensive national research agenda. During her nursing and research career, she built an international legacy.

Cheri Blevins, clinical nurse specialist, University of Virginia Hospital Medical ICU, Charlottesville, is featured in the fall 2011 Virginia Legacy, published by University of Virginia (UVA) Nursing. At UVA, she introduced the four-step Confusion Assessment Method for the ICU, which helps nurses identify delirium in patients.

Suzi Burns, professor of nursing, who directs the University of Virginia’s (UVA’s) Professional Nursing Staff Organization Research Program, is featured in “Nurses Improve Bedside Care Through PNSO Research Program” in the fall 2011 Virginia Legacy.

The program helps UVA nurses develop research to improve patient outcomes. A past AACN national board member, she joined the association in 1987 and received an AACN Flame of Excellence Award in 2008. 

Marguerite Corda — a critical care nurse for more than 30 years and previously vice president of critical care and cardiac services, Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, N.Y. — is now vice president for patient care services, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York.

Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County, Rock Springs, Wyo., names Deborah Gaspar its chief nursing officer. An AACN member since 1979, she was most recently interim system director of nursing and patient support services, St. Luke’s Health System, Boise, Idaho. 

National League for Nursing (NLN), New York, names Nancy Langston, dean and professor of VCU School of Nursing, Richmond, the chair of its board of trustees. A champion for critical care nursing, she served as founding chair of the NLN Foundation during her tenure as NLN president from 1999-2001.

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Rosalie Hammerschmidt Lanius, one of AACN’s founders and a past board president, died at her home in Tuppers Plains, Ohio. While president, she served a term as nurse editor of Heart & Lung, AACN’s first scientific journal, and later co-wrote “A Little Book of Nurses’ Rules.”

As a clinician, educator and leader, she made major contributions to critical care nursing throughout her long career, including the development of prehospital emergency care in Nashville, Tenn. She was an accomplished pianist who enjoyed music, sports, literature and gardening.

“Rosie was an inspiration to me,” says fellow AACN founder Penny Vaughan. “One of the smartest, most futuristic-thinking persons I’ve ever known.”

Debra Lee, a faculty member at Malone University, Canton, Ohio, since 2007, is appointed dean of nursing and health sciences. She earned her PhD at Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, where her research focused on the role of relationships during chronic critical illness.

Jodi Mullen — past AACN national board member who joined the association in 1997 — is named clinical leader in the Pediatric ICU at Shands Hospital for Children, University of Florida, Gainesville.

Mary Frances Pate, secretary/treasurer, AACN Certification Corporation, is named associate professor University of Portland School of Nursing, Portland, Ore. She was previously associate professor, School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Nita Reigle established an endowment fund to recognize the life of her late husband, Tom Buckley, who was a long-standing AACN member and worked in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at the University of Virginia (UVA) Medical Center, Charlottesville. The fund supports the continuing education of NICU nurses at UVA.

Bob Rodriguez, staff RN in the ICU, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Walnut Creek, Calif., receives the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. AACN is a collaborating supporter of the DAISY Foundation, which partners with healthcare organizations to recognize the clinical skills and especially the compassion that nurses demonstrate at the bedside every day.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, held its first annual educational event for nurse practitioners and physician assistants who work in critical care. The conference goal is to present and discuss evidence-based practices and delivery-of-care issues related to critically ill patients.

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