Yale School of Nursing, Yale University's Graduate Nursing Programs

Yale School of Nursing

Donna Diers Honored by American Academy of Nursing as Living Legend

December 1, 2010

Donna Diers, PhD, RN, FAAN, a former dean at Yale University School of Nursing (YSN), was named a 2010 Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) at a gala celebration on November 11, 2010, in Washington, DC.

See related story in Yale Bulletin and Calendar.

To be named a Living Legend by the AAN, one must be a distinguished leader in the nursing world. The award represents the Academy's highest recognition. Since its commencement in 1994, the Academy has honored 77 Living Legends, all of whom have had a significant impact on health care through nursing, research, and education.

Dr. Diers is the Annie W. Goodrich Professor Emeritus and Lecturer in Nursing at Yale and Senior Clinical Coordinator, Decision Support, Yale-New Haven Health System. She also holds Adjunct Professor appointments at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, and the University of Sydney. Dr. Diers served as dean of YSN from 1972 to 1985, and has also worked internationally in New Zealand for many years.

In the United States, she is identified with the emergence of clinical nursing research methodologies, as she wrote the first book on that subject. Dr. Diers is also recognized for her work on the policy and politics of advanced practice nursing (nurse practitioner and nurse-midwifery). Additionally, she was the editor of Image–Journal of Nursing Scholarship for eight years, and has been recognized for her work on the policy and politics of advanced practice nursing. Her publications have appeared in all major nursing journals.

"Donna Diers has served as the 'voice of nursing' for over 40 years," commented Margaret Grey, current dean of Yale School of Nursing. "She has taught us about ourselves, our profession, and our society. Her words forever changed the direction of nursing science and convinced us that primary care is nursing."

Others being honored this year as Living Legends include Billye J. Brown, EdD, RN, FAAN, former Dean of Nursing of the University of Texas-Austin; Norma M. Lang, PhD, RN, FAAN, former Margaret Bond Simon Dean School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania; Barbara Nichols, DHL, MS, RN, FAAN, current CEO Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools; and Betty S. Williams, DrPH, RN, FAAN, President Emerita, National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations.

The ceremony for this year's honorees is scheduled for November 11, 2010, at the Grand Hyatt, Washington, DC, in conjunction with the AAN Annual Conference and Meeting.