Joan E Lynaugh, PhD, FAAN

Professor Emerita of Nursing

As founding director of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, Dr. Lynaugh is a true pioneer who put research and scholarship in history on the national and international map.

Although “scholarship in history” distinguishes some of her contributions, she has dedicated more than 40 years of her career to issues in healthcare delivery and practice patterns for nurse practitioners in primary care, as well as the history of nursing.

Dr. Lynaugh was recruited to Penn Nursing in 1980 to direct the School’s new initiative in primary care nursing. She brought with her a commitment to family nurse practitioner education and faculty practice which significantly contributed to the reshaping of primary care nursing education at Penn and throughout the country. As a result of Dr. Lynaugh’s efforts, we have today at Penn one of nursing’s most successful and publicly understood models of care and some of the top nurse practitioner programs in the country.


Dr. Lynaugh’s earliest research analyzed the origins of community hospitals as essential, local, and voluntary institutions. She has also studied the issues affecting practice by nurses and physicians, as well as formative changes in both professions, professional nursing practice in post-World War II America, and the emergence of critical care nursing in the United States, among other topics. Her research has been supported by grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Milbank Memorial Fund, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the International Council of Nurses, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Selected Career Highlights

In addition to her many awards and honors, Dr. Lynaugh was named a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing. She exemplifies the best qualities, accomplishments, and legacies for which the Living Legend Award was established, and her selection is an acknowledgement of Dr. Lynaugh’s many contributions to nursing.

Accepting Mentees?

  • No

Accepting Fellows?

  • No

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