American Academy of Nursing Announces 2013 Living Legends

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Four extraordinary nurse leaders to receive one of nursing’s highest honors.

The American Academy of Nursing is recognizing four outstanding nurse leaders as Living Legends for their extraordinary contributions to nursing and health care sustained over the course of their careers. Designation as a Living Legend is the Academy’s highest recognition of honor.

The Academy’s 2013 Living Legends:

  •     Clara Adams-Ender, MS, MMAS, PhD (hon), RN, FAAN, the Army’s top nurse executive for 22,000 Army nurses, serving worldwide, who retired as a brigadier general. In 1967, she became the first nurse and woman in Army history to be awarded the Expert Field Medical Badge. She was the first corps chief retained on active duty and the first nurse in Army history selected as a commanding general.
  •     Hattie Bessent, EdD, MSN, RN, FAAN, a passionate trailblazer for advancing the voice, visibility, and impact of minority colleagues and students in the fields of mental health and substance abuse nursing. Her efforts helped to enrich and diversify the profession. She has been recognized for her lifelong pursuit to improve access to care for all through induction into the American Nurses Association Hall of Fame and the United Kingdom’s Royal College of Nursing.
  •     Margaret Miles, PhD, RN, FAAN, a pioneer in pediatric nursing. She was an early researcher on the suffering of bereaved parents of critically ill children and on mothers of children with HIV. Her leadership in launching the Society of Pediatric Nurses shaped the field for generations of nurses. Researchers, educators and clinicians continue to use her research to improve family-centered care globally.
  •     Jean Watson, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN, a nursing theorist and scholar in caring science, which has provided a meaningful philosophical foundation for human caring, relational practices, and patient-centered care. Her theory on human caring, translated into several languages, has transformed the nursing profession and health care worldwide.

Since the recognition started in 1994, eighty-four Living Legends have been selected. All Living Legends have distinguished careers that have impacted health care through notable contributions to nursing practice, research, and education. The 2013 Living Legends will be recognized on Thursday, October 17, 2013, the opening night of the Academy’s Transforming Health Care: Driving Policy Conference in Washington, DC. For more information on the conference, visit .

“These four extraordinary leaders reflect the very best in nursing, and we look forward to joyfully celebrating their illustrious careers in Washington, DC,” says Academy president, Joanne Disch, PhD, RN, FAAN.

The Academy’s board of directors recognizes a small group of Fellows as Living Legends each year. To be eligible, a Living Legend must have been a Fellow for at least fifteen years and have demonstrated extraordinary and sustained contributions to nursing and health care throughout their careers.

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About the Academy
The American Academy of Nursing ( serves the public and the nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. The Academy's more than 2,000 Fellows are nursing's most accomplished leaders in education, management, practice, and research. They have been recognized for their extraordinary contributions to nursing and health care.

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Michael Marriott

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