citizens who had little access to a workforce that was highly skilled or provided adequate access to health care services. Also in Florida, in the late 1950s, Dorothy Smith, the first dean of the new University of Florida College of Nursing, developed nursing practice models that brought nursing faculty into the hospital in a joint nursing service. Students thereby had role models in their learning experiences, and staff nurses had the authority to improve patient care. From this system came the patient kardex and the unit manager system that freed nurses from the constant search for supplies that took them away from the bedside. In the 1980s, nursing research by Neville Strumpf and Lois Evans highlighted the danger of using restraints on frail elders (Evans and Strumpf, 1989; Strumpf and Evans, 1988). Their efforts to translate their findings into practice revolutionized nursing practice in nursing homes, hospitals, and other facilities by focusing nursing care on preventing falls and other injuries related to restraint use, and led to state and federal legislation that resulted in reducing the use of restraints on frail elders.
Nurses also have also led efforts to improve health and access to care through entrepreneurial endeavors. For example, Ruth Lubic founded the first free-standing birth center in the country in 1975 in New York City. In 2000, she opened the Family Health and Birth Center in Washington, DC, which provides care to underserved communities (see Box 2-2 in Chapter 2). Her efforts have improved the care of thousands of women over the years. There are many other examples of nurse entrepreneurs, and a nurse entrepreneur network2 exists that provides networking, education and training, and coaching for nurses seeking to enter the marketplace and business.
Leadership skills must be learned and mastered over time. Nonetheless, it is important to obtain a basic grasp of those skills as early as possible—starting in school (see Chapter 4). Nursing educators must give their students the most relevant knowledge and practice opportunities to equip them for their profession, while instilling in them a desire and expectation for new learning in the years to come. Regardless of the basic degree with which a nurse enters the profession, faculty should feel obligated to show students the way to their first or next career placement, as well as to their next degree and continuous learning opportunities.
Moreover, students should not wait for graduation to exercise their potential for leadership. In Georgia, for example, health students came together in 2001 under the banner “Lead or Be Led” to create a student-led, interprofessional nonprofit organization that “seeks to make being active in the health community a professional habit.” Named Health Students Taking Action Together (Health-STAT), the group continues to offer workshops in political advocacy, media