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Strumpf to be 2019 Penn Nursing Commencement Speaker

Neville Strumpf, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor and Dean Emerita, will be the 2019 Penn Nursing commencement speaker. The ceremony on Monday, May 20, 2019, will take place at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts from 3:00 PM until 5:00 PM. 

“Throughout her nearly forty-year tenure as a member of the Penn community, Dr. Strumpf has demonstrated extraordinary leadership and exceptional teaching and mentoring, all driven by her innovative research in the field of elder care and her commitment to equitable and quality health care,” said Penn Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel. “She is a generous scholar and School and University citizen.”

Through two decades of research, first published in 1988, her work showed the emotional and physical harms of being restrained and established a scientific basis for restraint-free care. Strumpf, and her research colleague, testified before Congress, wrote papers, and worked with professional organizations and regulatory agencies to advocate for restraint-free care.  

By 2000, restraint-free care was widely recognized as the standard of practice, especially in nursing homes. When the American Academy of Nursing developed “Five Things Nurses and Patients Should Question” in 2014 to ensure patients receive necessary but not harmful care, not using physical restraints with older patients was on the list, because of their groundbreaking research. 

Along with her leading-edge work in gerontology, Strumpf led Penn Nursing as interim dean from 2000-2001. During that time, she facilitated strategic planning, faculty governance, and scholarship, easing the transition from one dean to the next.