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YON 2020 Day 363: Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN, FNAP

The Elizabeth Brooks Ford Professor of Nursing and Director, Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy at Case Western Reserve University's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN, FNAP, has received many honors, among the most recent of which are the Florence Nightingale International Foundation Award and the honor of being named Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Fitzpatrick shares her insights on nurses and nursing.

This year, 2020, the World Health Organization dedicated Year of the Nurse and Midwife, has given all of us, as nurses, a reason to celebrate our profession. Importantly this WHO recognition is in honor of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, in celebration of the year of her birth, 200 years ago. Nightingale was a true pioneer, acclaiming nursing as an art and practicing nursing as both a science and an art. Importantly, Nightingale was also a leader and an advocate, advancing public policy for the good of many. Through the years I have learned much from Nightingale’s writings. Her lessons to all nurses deserve acclaim, not just for the profession but for those we serve.


My story in and of nursing and nurses continues to unfold. As a nurse my journey over the many years has been full of opportunities and challenges, but never before has the challenge for our profession been as great as it has in 2020. This year nurses have been recognized for their work in every corner of the health care world, caring for the sickest patients, and creating bonds to those patients’ family members and loved ones. Our challenge as nurses is to continue to speak out, as nurse leaders at the point of care. Our nursing voices must be heard.


Most recently I have served as the Director of the Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. My current role is to carry on the legacy of Marian Shaughnessy who endowed our Academy. Marian was visionary, forever pushing the boundaries of nursing and challenging all of us to do more to take our rightful place in healthcare leadership. She continues to guide my work in nursing, and I am grateful for having known her for her tenacity, her leadership and her challenge to all of us. In Marian’s words: the time has come for nurses to take a leadership role in redesigning and reforming healthcare to make it more patient-centered, cost-effective, accessible, and quality-driven. Nurses locally in Northeast Ohio, nationally, and globally are ready to step up to this challenge. The world needs us!

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