Health Care Hall of Fame Past Inductees
Eleanor C. Lambertsen
Inducted in 1989
Lambertsen had a “profound” effect on nursing. She once said, “Whenever someone asks me if we have enough nurses, I'm tempted to reply: 'Enough for what?' ” From 1961 to 1970, Lambertsen headed the nursing school program at Columbia University in New York. She had worked her way up from bedside nurse to dean of one the country's most prestigious nursing schools. Her objective was to get administrators, physicians and nurses to work together for the common good of the patient. While in college, her dissertation at Columbia was on developing “team nursing,” rather than the traditional “functional nursing.” In her concept, registered nurses were responsible for patient care and meeting treatment goals. A year after her dissertation, the American Hospital Association came calling. Eventually she agreed to start a nursing division at the association. Later, she would become part of the World Health Organization's expert advisory council on nursing from 1961 to 1982.