120 Years of Nursing at Penn: Celebrating History, Innovative Research, and Excellence in Education

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto-Haines | jdisanto@pobox.upenn.edu | 215-898-4820October 4, 2006

PHILADELPHIA  This week, the University of Pennsylvania celebrates 120 years of Nursing at Penn.  From its beginnings in 1886, Penn's nursing program has grown into one of the largest, most highly respected nursing schools in the country -- with a focus on cutting-edge scientific research, international collaborations, meeting society's needs, educational excellence, and leadership.

The School of Nursing integrates education, research, and clinical care in an academic setting in order to advance science, shape the structure and quality of health care, and to educate tomorrow's nursing leaders.

Dr. Afaf Meleis, the dean of Penn's School of Nursing, says "This occasion is a time to celebrate the history of Penn's reputation in excellence in nursing, our current and past research efforts that have led to monumental developments in the nursing field, as well as our rich nursing heritage at Penn."

From conception through end-of-life issues, Penn's School of Nursing researchers have produced new knowledge in the areas of: developing ways to assess infant nutrition, reducing the use of restraints on the elderly, discovering hospital characteristics that attract and retain nurses, establishing a nomenclature for what nurses do, promoting the profession, and educating national policymakers to influence healthcare policy.  The School maintains a practice for the elderly in West Philadelphia while also developing a global mission.

Note to editors: A group of four 1940 graduates who served in Burma in the Nurse Cadet Corps will be available for interviews.