Pivotal Moments in Nursing: Leaders Who Changed the Path of a Profession

Article excerpt

Pivotal Moments in Nursing: Leaders Who Changed the Path of a Profession by Beth P. Houser, MS, RN, FNP-C, and Kathy N. Player, EdD, RN; Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International, 2004; 320 pages, $29.95

Speaking of 12 major nursing leaders, Pivotal Moments in Nursing tells how they dramatically influenced the profession. Nurse readers will instantly recognize the names of the subjects--Faye Abdellah, Linda Aiken, Shirley Chater, Luther Christman, Joyce Clifford, Rheba de Tornyay, Sue Donaldson, Claire Fagin, Vernice Ferguson, Loretta Ford, Ada Sue Hinshaw, and Gretta Styles. Among other major accomplishments, these are individuals who defined the discipline of nursing and clinical practice, assumed major roles in research and government, and are recognized as living legends.

The professional and personal lives of these leaders provide insight into how they developed as movers and shakers within the profession. Each rose to what often seemed to be an insurmountable challenge. We learn many unfamiliar details about these individuals. What is striking is that each story is different. There is no one route or characteristic that contributes to the making of an extraordinary leader.

Some commonalities, however, do become apparent. Our nursing leaders were people with passion, who truly loved nursing and had a vision for the way things should be. …

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