Julie A. Fairman, PhD, RN, FAAN
Julie A. Fairman has always been inspired by history. Her research, writing, and teaching illuminate the ways 20th century events have shaped current nursing and health care practice and policy.
Her article, “History Counts: How History Can Shape Our Understanding of Health Policy,” co-authored with Penn Nursing colleague Patricia D’Antonio, won the 2015 American Academy of Nursing Excellence in Media Award. Her book Making Room in the Clinic: Nurse Practitioners and the Evolution of Modern Health Care, which examines the growth of the nurse practitioner movement, won the Lavinia Dock Award for Exemplary Historical Research Writing.
“History shapes nursing and health care practice and policy, because it shows us what works, what doesn’t, and how context shapes our thinking.”
- Post-Doctoral Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 1993
- PhD , University of Pennsylvania, 1992
- MSN, University of Pennsylvania, 1980
- BSN , Albright College, 1976
Dr. Fairman forged a new paradigm of inquiry by conceptualizing nursing as a key analytical category for understanding the history of health care and health policy after World War II. This paradigm and her supporting data-based research contributes new knowledge and positions nurses as influential participants in the negotiation of clinical space and authority, the shaping and dissemination of technology, and as a critical perspective in the history of medicine. More importantly, by situating nurses as potent actors in the nexus of history and health policy, her research illustrates nursing’s clinical authority in patient care and strengthens nursing’s voice in health policy debates that influence every aspect of patient care in United States and around the world. To facilitate the examination of these ideas, she regularly publishes her work in recognized peer-reviewed nursing and humanities journals, and as well-received books.
Dr. Fairman has received many awards for her teaching, including the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award. She most recently taught students across the University in the Benjamin Franklin Scholars Program, a course entitled, “Race, Class, Gender and the History of American Health Care”, a student-led seminar in which students use primary documents and material from disciplines such as sociology and feminist studies to explore the history of American health care through the lens of race, class, and gender. The Benjamin Franklin Scholars program fosters intellectual curiosity and exploration for outstanding undergraduate students in Penn’s four undergraduate schools: the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Wharton School, and the School of Nursing.
Dr. Fairman’s research focuses on 20th century healthcare issues, in particular, the history of health policy as it relates to competition, scope of practice, and service models, and the history of technology. Her most recent work has moved into the intersection of the Civil Rights movement and health care. Her work has been funded by the NLM, NEH, the RWJ Foundation Investigator in Health Policy Program (only 2nd nurse), and other specialty organizations. In 2011, she was the first historian inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau Research Hall of Fame.
She the author/editor of 4 books, with work ongoing for a 5th, and her work has been published in journals such as the NEJM, the Lancet, and Health Matrix. She has been interviewed by national and international media, including NPR, the New York Times, USA Today, and J&J media campaigns. Dr. Fairman is the co-director of the $20 million RWJF Future of Nursing Scholars program and the Director Emerita of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing at Penn. She is an American Academy of Nursing and Philadelphia College of Physicians Fellow. She serves on the boards of the Visiting Nurses Association of Philadelphia and CGFSN. Dr. Fairman served as the 2009 IOM/AAN/ANF Scholar in Residence and worked with the Committee on the Future of Nursing. She is the first nurse to be invited to deliver the Garrison Lecture at the American Association for the History of Medicine, and the first nurse to address the American Philosophical Society. Internationally, she serves as a historical research consultant to IPASVI, Rome, Italy.
Funded Program Grants
2013 - 2021 Co-Director, Robert Wood Johnson, Future of Nursing Scholar’s Program, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, $20,000,000 (Co-Director, Susan Hassmiller).
Funded Research Grants
2014 Global Workforce for Primary Care. Co-Investigator with Tine Hanson Turton and Frances Hughes. $75,000, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (grant housed in the Convenient Care Association).
2013 Best Anesthesia Delivery Model for the Future of the Nation, PG, Co-Investigator with Kelly Wiltse, $100,000, American Nurse Anesthetist Association.
2010 - 2012 Routledge Handbook of the Global History of Nursing, PG, Co-Investigator with Patricia D’Antonio, $5,000, Routledge Press Publication Grant.
2009 - 2010 ANA/AAN/ANF Distinguished Nurse Scholar in Residence at the Institute of Medicine, Washington, D.C., $75,000.
2007 – 2011 Practice Politics: The History of Nurse Practitioners, 1975 to the Present, PG, Principal Investigator, $230,000, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Investigator in Health Policy Award.
The first recommendation coming out of the future of nursing report is to “remove scope-of-practice barriers.” Since the 1970s, the Federal Trade Commission and nursing leaders have been concerned about state regulations that limit the ability of nurse practitioners to perform routine tasks such as ordering tests or conducting physicals. Dr. Fairman is examining these regulations for their implications in restraint of trade, imposing hardships on patients, and increasing costs.
Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing
From 2006 through 2015, Dr. Fairman served as Director of Penn Nursing’s Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, where she is now a faculty member. The Center provides stipends to fellows, facilitates interdisciplinary study with Penn departments such as history and sociology of science, and maintains a repository of historical materials for use by students and researchers. Dr. Fairman works with colleagues at the University of Virginia, the University of Wisconsin, and elsewhere to promote understanding of historical influences on current nursing practice.
Selected Career Highlights
2008- Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania
2018 The Garrison Lecture, American Association for the History of Medicine (first nurse recipient)
2018 The Kate Hurd Meade Lecture, College of Physicians of Philadelphia
2018 Annual Hixon Lecture in the History of Medicine, Dept. of History and Philosophy of Medicine at Kansas University Medical Center
2017 Ada Fort Honorary Lectureship, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
2015 Nursing Outlook Award for Best Policy Article (Awarded for History Counts: How History Can Shape our Understanding of Heath Policy. Nursing Outlook, 61, 346-52).
2014 Mary M. Roberts Award for Exemplary Historical Research Writing, edited book, American Association for the History of Nursing (Awarded for Rutledge Handbook on the Global History of Nursing, London: Rutledge.
- Fairman, J.A. (in press).Making Room in the Clinic: A History of the Nurse Practitioner Movement. x: Rutgers University Press.
- Fairman, J., Meyer, D. (2014). White Paper: Summary of the 2013 Community College Presidents’ Meeting and Progress in the Year Since It Was Convened. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 0, 42381.
- Fairman, J. (2013). Antitrust and the Future of Nursing: Federal Competiton Policy and the Scope of Practice Health Matrix. Journal of Law-Medicine, 41275, http://ssrn.com/abstract=22071.
- D’Antonio, P., In Fairman, J., & In Whelan, J. C. (2013). Routledge handbook on the global history of nursing. New York, NY: Taylor & Friends.
- Fairman, J.A. (2012). The Right to Write: Nurse Practitioners and Prescription. In Watkins, E.S. and Greene, J. (Eds.), Prescribed: Writing, Filling, Using, and Abusing the Prescription in Modern America. (117-133). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press.
- Fairman, J.A., & Okoye, S.M. (2011). Nursing for the future, from the past: Two reports on nursing from the Institute of Medicine. Journal of Nursing Education, 50, 305-311.
- Fairman, J. A. (2011). Patients and the Rise of the Nurse Practitioner Profession. In Hoffman, B. & Tomes, N. (Eds.), Patients as Policy Actors. (215-230). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
- Fairman, J.A., Rowe, J., Hassmiller, S. & Shalala, D. (2011). Broadening the Scope of Nursing Practice. The New England Journal of Medicine, 364(3), 193-195.
- Fairman, J. A. (2010). the Visit: Nurse Practitioners and the Negotiation of Practice.. In D’Antonio, P. & Lewenson, S. (Eds.), Nursing Interventions Through Time: History as Evidence.. (Eds Ed.)(189-202). New York: Springer.
- D’Antonio, P., Connolly, C., Mann Wall, B., Whelan, J. C., & Fairman, J. (2010). Histories of Nursing: The Power and the Possibilities. Nursing Outlook, 58(4), 207-213.