News and Events

Latest News

American Academy of Nursing Designates Dr. Kitty Buckwalter one of Five Living Legends

Compliments of the American Academy of Nursing

American Academy of Nursing Designates Dr. Kitty Buckwalter one of Five Living Legends

American Academy of Nursing Designates Five Renowned Nurse Leaders as Living Legends

Academy’s Highest Nursing Honor Will be Presented at Virtual Policy Conference in October

Washington, DC (August 18, 2020) –The American Academy of Nursing (Academy) will officially designate five incredible nurse leaders as Living Legends at the Academy’s Transforming Health, Driving Policy conference, to be held virtually October 29-31, 2020. Through their academic, practice, policy, and social contributions to advance health, these influential change agents have made a lasting impression on the trajectory of the profession and the well-being of individuals globally.

“This year we have experienced an outpouring of public support for nurses due to the pandemic. It is vital that we recognize the profession’s leaders who have worked tirelessly throughout their careers to promote better health outcomes, increase health equity, advance education, and improve conditions for vulnerable populations, all while mentoring the next generation to follow in their footsteps,” said Academy President Eileen Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, FAAN. “The Academy is honored to recognize these outstanding individuals as Living Legends and celebrate their legacies this fall.”

Countless lives have been cared for, communities have been strengthened, and systems have improved through the vision and actions of these exceptional leaders who will be honored as the 2020 Living Legends—the highest honor the Academy awards.

Linda Harman Aiken, PhD, RN, FRCN, FAAN, is a renowned researcher and advocate whose pioneering work has transformed nursing by demonstrating the value of baccalaureate education on garnering improved patient outcomes, the impact of safe nurse staffing on saving lives while reducing costs, and the need for positive clinical working environments to improve nurse retention. Cumulatively, these areas of focus led to the origination of the Magnet Recognition Program during her tenure as President of the Academy from 1979-1980. Magnet status, now known as the Magnet Recognition Program® under the American Nurses Association Enterprise, is thriving and continues to recognize organizations for nursing excellence and improved patient outcomes. Currently, Dr. Aiken serves as the Claire M. Fagin Leadership Professor in Nursing, as Professor of Sociology in the School of Arts & Sciences, and as Director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, is an exemplary public health nurse who has made lasting contributions to improve the public health infrastructure through implementing sound health policies that ultimately reduce inequities and strengthen communities. As Deputy Secretary for the Washington State Department of Health, Dr. Berkowitz helped to reform the state’s public health system through her leadership to create the report that became the basis of the Health Services Act of 1993. Following the passage of this legislation, as faculty at the University of Washington, she helped lead a 10-year, national program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Turning Point: Collaborating for a New Century in Public Health, to modernize states’ public health statutes, improve quality, enhance utilization of information technology, create performance management systems, and nurture public health leadership. Dr. Berkowitz served as President of the Academy from 2015-2017 and is Dean Emerita at Columbia University School of Nursing.

Kathleen (Kitty) Buckwalter, PhD, RN, FAAN is an exceptional innovator, mentor, advocate, and researcher recognized for her health policy work and spearheading the development of the geropsychiatric nursing subspecialty. Among the first cohort of nurses to receive a Geriatric Mental Health Academic Award in 1983, Dr. Buckwalter’s decade-spanning efforts to develop and test conceptual and rural mental health models of care has led to incredible breakthroughs in treating persons with dementia (PWD) through non-pharmacological and environmental interventions. The Progressively Lowered Stress Threshold conceptual model she developed with Dr. Geri Hall for PWD, as well as their formal and informal caregivers, has been implemented and evaluated nationally and internationally for over 30 years. Dr. Buckwalter is Professor Emerita at the University of Iowa College of Nursing and Distinguished Nurse Scientist in Aging, Reynolds Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center College of Nursing.

Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN is a remarkable health care leader and champion for the nursing profession whose vision at the National League for Nursing (NLN), has advanced the science and stature of nursing education. Dr. Malone’s skilled ability to inspire and facilitate greater collaboration among stakeholders has resulted in expanded diversity within the profession and nursing education while advancing excellence in care. Her distinguished career has impacted all facets of public health by advocating for improvements to policies, education, administration, and clinical practice. In testament to her leadership, Dr. Malone was appointed as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health within the Department of Health and Human Services, the highest position that a nurse had ever held at that time, under President Bill Clinton. Following her appointment, Dr. Malone relocated to the United Kingdom to serve as General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, the largest professional union of nursing staff in the world, thus cementing her legacy internationally. Ranked as among the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare magazine, Dr. Malone currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of NLN.

Marilyn Rantz, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the premier expert in quality measurement in nursing homes and research programs to improve elder care. A nurse for 50 years, Dr. Rantz’s pioneering work and innovative spirit is evidenced through the profession’s paradigm shifts in measuring nursing home quality, utilizing new technologies to help seniors live independently, and gaining fair reimbursement for nursing services. Dr. Rantz also initiated legislation to set the stage for nurses practicing to the full scope of their education and training and has received more than $87 million in various grants to further her work. She is Executive Director for the Aging in Place Project, which allows seniors to “age in place” through the creation of Sinclair Home Care and the Quality Improvement Program for Missouri which has transformed the care Missouri nursing home residents receive— both models being designated as Academy Edge Runners. Dr. Rantz is Curators’ Professor Emerita, University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing.

About the American Academy of Nursing The American Academy of Nursing serves the public by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. Academy Fellows are inducted into the organization for their extraordinary contributions to improve health locally and globally. With more than 2,700 Fellows, the Academy represents nursing’s most accomplished leaders in policy, research, administration, practice, and academia. Contact: Caroline Kane | 202-777-1173 |


Categories: News
Sooner Nursing: Integrity, Compassion, Excellence