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Nurse ‘Edge Runners’ from the AJN Archives

May 7, 2013

By Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief

In her message to nurses for Nurses Week, ANA president Karen Daley notes, “This year’s National Nurses Week theme, ‘Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care,’ emphasizes our role and influence in making the health care system work better for patients. Think about the many ways you innovate and improve care.”

The Frontier Nursing Service evolved from the Kentucky Committee for Mothers and Babies initiated by Mary Breckenridge in 1925.

The Frontier Nursing Service evolved from the Kentucky Committee for Mothers and Babies initiated by Mary Breckenridge in 1925.

We’ve been publishing our series on “Edge Runners”—those nurses designated by the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) as creative, out-of-the box innovators. In January, we profiled Marilyn Rantz for her innovative program to assist seniors to age in place; in March, we highlighted Deborah Gross for her Chicago Parent Program; for May, we have a profile of Donna Torrisi, founder of a nurse-managed family health center in Philadelpia. (The AJN articles linked to in this post will be free for the next week, until May 13, in honor of Nurses Week.)

But of course, there were ‘edge runners’ well before the AAN starting naming them. Nurses have a time-worn tradition of using their creativity and problem solving to provide care to those who need it, and AJN has chronicled many of these movers and shakers over the years.

Here’s a couple of my favorites from AJN’s archives (click through to the pdf versions to see the entire articles):

  • Lillian Wald writing about the beginning of the Henry Street Settlement in May 1902.
  • A profile of Mary Breckenridge, founder of the Frontier Nursing Service, from 1930.

We’ll bring you a few more later in the week.

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