Eleanor Hall ’61 (Honorary), the chair of the Department of Nursing from 1957 to 1971 who is credited with paving the way for an independent School of Nursing, died July 14 at age 95.
Perhaps proudest of elevating nursing’s educational standards to a level that matched those set for the University’s other educational units, Hall also devoted herself to maintaining high academic standards and encouraged faculty members to develop new clinical roles.
“It is impossible to overstate the impact that Eleanor had on the School of Nursing as it stands and operates today,” says Kathy Parker, dean of the School of Nursing. In 2002, the nursing school dedicated the Eleanor Hall Heritage Center to recognize Hall’s contributions to the school and her efforts to preserve its history.
The University recruited Hall from Yale, where she had been a nursing clinical coordinator, associate professor of nursing, and assistant dean of nursing. At Rochester, she became chair of the Department of Nursing Education in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, a position she held until 1971.
Hall oversaw the development of the program that led to the bachelor of science degree in nursing, and the strengthening of relationships among the nursing department, the Medical Center, and the University. Hall also was appointed to the advisory board of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, providing nursing a role in policymaking at the Medical Center.
“Eleanor’s strong leadership and foresight as chair was critical to the revitalization of nursing education at Rochester and the transition of the department to the autonomous School of Nursing,” says Madeline Schmitt, a professor emeritus of nursing. “Professionally, she always put patients and families first. To her, the heart of nursing was the care nurses provided at the bedside.”
Susan Fandel writes about nursing for Medical Center Public Relations.