Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing Dean May L. Wykle received the National League for Nursing's (NLN) Isabel Hampton Robb Lifetime Achievement Award during the organization's recent Education Summit 2008.
Hampton Robb chaired the historic meeting during the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 that led to the establishment of the first association of nurses in the United States–the American Society of Superintendents of Training Schools of Nurses. The group, which set out to improve and standardize nursing education, ultimately became the National League for Nursing Education in 1912, renamed the National League for Nursing in 1952. The award recognizes a lifetime of visionary work that transforms nursing education and the profession of nursing.
A renowned expert in gerontology, Wykle has been dean of the School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University since 2001. For more than two decades, she has also been director of the University Center on Aging and Health, and has overseen one of the nation's first certificate courses in gerontology. Through this position, she has mentored young faculty to follow in her footsteps as leaders in gerontology.
Wykle has led the way in hiring minority faculty and promoting research of minority populations. The critical mass of minority faculty at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing has been a major factor in increasing the number of minority students at the school, from the bachelor to doctoral level, thus producing a substantial number of next generation practicing nurses, educators and researchers who are members of minority groups equipped to address minority health care and issues of health disparities. Her untiring efforts demonstrate that private schools of nursing, such as Case Western Reserve, can achieve racial, ethnic and gender diversity.
Traveling abroad extensively, she witnessed the interconnection of poverty and health in developing countries, which led her to initiate nursing education programs with components in gerontology in Europe, Africa and Asia.
In 2007, Case Western Reserve established the May L. Wykle Endowed Professorship in honor of her outstanding career and remarkable contributions to knowledge development, leadership and mentorship. Remarkably, the professorship was funded through contributions by former students, practicing nurses, colleagues in the fields of mental health and gerontology, and members of the communities she has served throughout her distinguished career.
Wykle received the lifetime achievement recognition on September 20. Learn more about the NLN.
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