Ellen Davidson Baer, PhD, FAAN, RN
Dr. Baer received her baccalaureate degree from Columbia University - Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing, and her master’s and doctoral degrees from New York University. Initially a clinical nurse practicing with acutely ill adults, Dr. Baer became involved with the nurse practitioner movement in the early 1970s.
She taught practitioners at Lehman College, City University of New York, with other pioneers in the field, before joining the faculty at the Penn School of Nursing in 1980. At Penn, Dr. Baer initiated and directed a federally funded program in oncology for nursing graduate students and a federally funded demonstration project for undergraduate nursing students to have clinical experiences caring for persons with AIDS. In addition to her teaching and research at the School of Nursing, Dr. Baer was the Associate Director of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing. A prolific writer, she has been widely recognized as a voice for nursing past and present. Her work illustrates how to comprehend contemporary issues by examining them in historical context. Abandonment of the patient, the struggles of nurse educators to achieve a place in higher education, issues relating to women’s roles, financing of healthcare, and finding a voice for nursing are all topics of her scholarship. Dr. Baer’s research has been supported by the National Center for Nursing Research, the Division of Nursing of the United States Public Health Service, the Helene Fuld Health Trust, and The Teagle Foundation, the results of which she has published widely in books and journals.
Selected Career Highlights
Among the honors Dr. Baer has received are the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award for History and Health Policy, for her book, written in conjunction with colleagues Patricia D’Antonio, Sylvia Rinker, and Joan E. Lynaugh, Enduring Issues in American Nursing (New York: Springer, 2001), the Lavinia L. Dock Award for excellence in historical research and writing from the American Association for the History of Nursing, the 1990 Distinguished Nurse Researcher Award from the Foundation of the New York State Nurses Association, the Agnes Dillon Randolph Award for Significant Contributions to the Field of Nursing History from the University of Virginia, the American Nurses Association Centennial Nursing Heritage Award, and the Columbia University Alumni Medal.