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Julie Fairman, PhD, RN, FAAN, Transitions from Standing Faculty at Penn Nursing

Julie A. Fairman, PhD, RN, FAAN, Nightingale Professor in Honor of Nursing Veterans and professor of nursing, an internationally recognized scholar and leader in nursing education and history will transition from her faculty role on June 30th, 2022.

Dr. Fairman began her education at Albright College, where she received her BSN. She joined Penn after graduation and earned her MSN, PhD, and completed her postdoctoral studies at Penn Nursing. Dr. Fairman’s research revolves around the history of health care issues that pervade contemporary nursing practice. A nurse historian whose work on the history of 20th century health care represents a track record of consistent funding, including fellowships from the National Library of Medicine, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dr. Fairman’s work on the history of critical care earned her awards from the American Association of the History of Nursing. Her first book, “Critical Nursing: A History,” received favorable reviews in the national and regional popular press and from reviewers in professional journals. She is the author/editor of 5 books, with work ongoing for a 6th. Much of her more recent work addresses the relationship between gender, nursing and technology (critical care) and the history of the social construction of professional boundaries (the history of the nurse practitioner movement). Her research has been utilized by members of Congress and by other policy-making bodies such as the Ministry of Health of New Zealand. She has investigated the influence of the nursing profession on health policy and looking at the role of the patient as health policy advocate. Other work examines the post-World War II history of nursing scholarship and disciplinary development.

From 2006 through 2015, Dr. Fairman served as Director of Penn Nursing’s Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing. From 2015 -2020, Dr. Fairman has served as department chair in the Biobehavioral Health Sciences department and co-led the development of the Penn Nursing DNP programs. From 2013 - 2021 she served as Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Future of Nursing Scholars program, Dr. Fairman was responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of a $20+ million-dollar program targeted to increase the number of PhD-prepared nurses. This program produced more than 200 graduates, all of whom completed accelerated doctoral programs.

Dr. Fairman has received many awards for teaching, including the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award. An alumnus of the RWJF Investigator in Health Policy Program, Dr. Fairman is one of only three nurses to receive that award.

This year, Dr. Fairman was selected for the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency Program, a month-long residency in Bellagio, Italy. This program offers academics, artists, policymakers, and practitioners a setting for focused, goal-oriented work, and the unparalleled opportunity to establish new connections with residents from a wide array of backgrounds, disciplines, and geographies. Dr. Fairman was selected for the Academic Writing residency program for an interdisciplinary history project that explores health as a civil right through its engagement with citizenship, human rights, and social justice. The research will include the development of a book proposal and revision of two existing manuscripts, about nurses as civil rights activists from 1960 to 1970 and as participants in liberation strategy in the Caribbean from 1920 to 1940.