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Nursing's Greatest Leaders

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Nursing's Greatest Leaders

SKU# 9780826130075

A History of Activism

Author: David Anthony Forrester PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN


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“This book is perfect for men and women who aspire to lead nursing and society into a better future. It will equally benefit undergraduate students enrolled in leadership courses, graduate students preparing for leadership roles, and nurses already established in leadership roles. [This book] deepened my love for nursing and reinforced why nursing is repeatedly ranked the most trusted profession.”

—Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Senior Adviser for Nursing

Director, Campaign for Action

With an emphasis on the qualities that have fostered strong nursing leadership, this book provides a unique perspective on the lives and achievements ofthe most revered nurses throughout history. It is comprised of biographies of many of nursing’s most important activist agents of change, with a focus onthose characteristics that enabled them to accomplish their goals and implement changes that improved nursing, health, health care, and society. Thesebiographies examine the evolution of nursing and society around the globe and underscore the resourcefulness and political savvy these nurses used to meetthe increasingly complex needs of society.

Using Kouzes and Posner’s five practices of exemplary leadership as a framework, the biographies demonstrate how the nurses used these processes to achievetheir goals. Placed within the context and dynamics of each nurse leader’s lifetime—including gender roles, science and technology, religion, politics, andeconomics—each biography includes a personal history, timeline, accomplishments, anecdotes, and legacy. The book honors such well-known nurse leaders asFlorence Nightingale, Clara Barton, and Dorothea Dix, along with lesser known nurse leaders. By telling the stories of these luminaries, the book showcasesnursing’s rich history and its influence on society. Ultimately fostering an understanding of the very nature of leadership, it provides a strongfoundation and inspiration for nurses to lead nursing, health care, and society into a better future.


  • Focuses on nursing history through the lens of leadership
  • Uses the framework of Kouzes and Posner‚Äôs five practices of exemplary leadership to analyze the achievements of nurse luminaries
  • Considers the lives of well-known and lesser known figures in nursing history
  • Focuses on leadership characteristics that enabled historic nurse leaders to implement important changes in global health care

Product Details 

  • Publication Date February 04, 2016
  • Page Count 320
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826130075

About The Author(s) 

David Anthony Forrester, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN,

is professor, Division of Nursing Science, School of Nursing, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey. Dr. Forrester graduated with a BSN from the University of Texas System School of Nursing, with an MSN from the University of Texas at Arlington, and with a PhD in research and theory development in nursing from New York University. Dr. Forrester is a widely known scholar who serves as a peer reviewer for a number of professional/scholarly nursing journals; he has published extensively on a wide range of topics, including HIV/AIDS; critical care family needs; aggressiveness of nursing care at the end of life; gender-related health, including health of minority men and women; falls risk assessment and prevention in the acute care setting; nursing leadership; and nursing history. He is a fellow of the National League for Nursing’s Academy of Nursing Education and the American Academy of Nursing. He is an active member of a number of professional and scholarly associations, including the American Nurses Association, New Jersey State Nurses Association, National League for Nursing, New Jersey League for Nursing, and Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI). Dr. Forrester served as the leader for the international faculty of the STTI Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy.

Table of Contents 



Foreword Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN



Part I: Introduction

1. Exemplary Nursing Leadership

David Anthony Forrester

Why Study Exemplary Nursing Leadership Within the Context of Nursing History?

What Is Leadership and What Is Exemplary Nursing Leadership?

What Is the Difference Between Nursing Leadership and Nursing Management?

What Are the Essential Traits or Characteristics of Exemplary Nurse Leaders?

Five Practices of Exemplary Nursing Leadership


Part II: Modeling the Way

2. Florence Nightingale: Where Most Work Is Wanted

Frances Ward


Modeling the Way in Practice

Modeling the Way in War

Modeling the Way in Peace

The End of Empire

An Improving Woman



Questions for Discussion

Part III: Inspiring a Shared Vision

3. Mother Mary Aikenhead: A Life of Vision

Deborah Cleeter


The Novitiate

Inspiring a Shared Vision

Foundress, Congregation of Irish Sisters of Charity

Ministries for Prisons, Schools, and Orphanages

Hospitals, Nursing, and Hospice

Leading in the Face of Personal Struggle

Global Legacy

Journey Toward Canonization

Exemplary Leadership


Questions for Discussion

4. Clara Barton: Angel of the Battlefield

Karen Egenes and Frances Vlasses

Early Efforts to Inspire a Shared Vision

Developing the Tools to Inspire a Shared Vision

Role Models for Inspiring a Shared Vision—Clara Barton in Europe

Inspiring a Shared Vision—Developing New Strategies

Inspiring a Shared Vision on a Local Level

Inspiring a Shared Vision Abroad—International Relief Efforts

Inspiring a Shared Vision—In Time of War

Attainment of the Vision

Clara Barton’s Leadership Legacy


Questions for Discussion

Part IV: Challenging the Process

5. Margaret Higgins Sanger: The Law Shall Be Broken

Patricia K. Hindin

The Law Shall Be Broken

Early Years

The Making of Margaret Sanger

Public Service and Progress in Birth Control

Major Accomplishments


Questions for Discussion

6. Sister Elizabeth Kenny: Conviction and Controversy

Mary Kamienski

Nature Versus Nurture

The Vision

Commitment to the Vision

Beyond Polio

Societal Values

Not a Nurse

The Reality of Polio

The American Frontier

The War Rages On


Questions for Discussion

7. Clara Louise Maass: Servant Leader Undaunted

Carol Emerson Winters

Spending Childhood as an Adult

Training School for Nurses

The Spanish–American War

Nursing Soldiers With Yellow Fever

Nursing American Troops in the Philippine Islands

Annulment of Nursing Contract and Return Home to New Jersey

The Yellow Fever Commission Is Established in Cuba

Returning to Cuba to Nurse Yellow Fever Patients

Clara Maass Volunteers to Be Bitten by Infected Mosquitoes

Clara Maass Develops Yellow Fever

Posthumous Honors

Modeling the Way

Challenging the Process


Questions for Discussion

Part V: Enabling Others to Act

8. Dorothea Lynde Dix: Privilege, Passion, and Reform

Barbara Ann Caldwell

Setting the Stage: The Influence of Family

Enacting Nontraditional Female Roles: Educator and Writer

Finding Mentors: Religious and Educational Commitment

Political Leadership and the Moral Movement

Developing Leadership Expertise and Campaigning for Change

Prisoners’ Letters and Expansion of Leadership

Transition to National Leadership

International Leadership and Recognition

Caught in a Power Struggle


Questions for Discussion

9. Lillian D. Wald: Pioneer of Public Health

Mary Ann Christopher, Regina Hawkey, and Mary Christine Jared

An Age of Transformation

Early Life

Building on the Public Health and Settlement Movements

Empowering Communities to Help Themselves

Mobilizing Social Institutions to Improve the Health of Communities

Enlisting Philanthropic and Business Interests to Promote the Public’s Health

Exemplary Leadership in Action: The Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918–1919

Lillian Wald’s Legacy as a Leader—Alive and Well Today

A Community in Crisis: VNSNY’s Response to Superstorm Sandy


Questions for Discussion

10. Mary Breckinridge: Angel on Horseback

Denise M. Tate

Nursing Leadership

Family and Early Life

Later Life

Challenging the Process

Inspiring a Shared Vision

Attention! Nurse Graduates

The Creation of Wendover

Encouraging the Heart

Enabling Others to Act

Modeling the Way

The Passing of Mary Breckinridge

Mary Breckinridge Hospital

Breckinridge Honored

Mary Breckinridge’s Leadership Legacy


Questions for Discussion

Part VI: Encouraging the Heart

11. Edith Louisa Cavell: Courage in the Face of Duty

Barbara J. Patterson

Assuming Her Duty to Humanity

Encouraging the Heart: Changing Nursing in Belgium

Encouraging the Heart: The Matron

Leadership Lessons From Edith Cavell and World War I

Edith Cavell’s Leadership Legacy


Questions for Discussion

Part VII: The Future

12. Nurses Leading Change: The Time Is Now!

Susan W. Salmond and David Anthony Forrester

An Unsustainable U.S. Health System: High Cost Without High Return in Health Outcomes

Re-Visioning Health Care

A New Context: The Time Is Now for Nursing and Nurse Leaders

The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health

Preparing Nurse Leaders for a New Future

Questions for Discussion