Ruth N. Knollmueller, a retired Yale School of Nursing professor, received a national award for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Association (ANA), the largest nursing organization in the US, at its biennial House of Delegates meeting in Washington, DC, on June 19.
Knollmueller, PhD, RN, of Cheshire, CT, garnered the ANA Pearl McIver Public Health Nurse award, which recognizes the outstanding professional contribution of a public health nurse.
"The McIver Award is the capstone to my career in nursing," Knollmueller said in accepting the award. "As with each nurse here today, I have stood on the shoulders of those who came before me. My hope is that my career provides the same for nurses coming along."
"Nurses form the backbone of our health care system, yet that often goes unrecognized," said ANA President Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR. "Today, we recognize a select group of nurses who epitomize the best of the profession through their commitment to clinical practice, teaching, research and advocacy on behalf of patients and nurse colleagues."
Knollmueller is regarded as one of the early leaders in the fields of community health nursing and home health care, and in the development of standards for nurse practitioners.
Knollmueller served on Yale's faculty from 1971-1985. While at Yale, she developed advanced practice nursing curricula and educated students in the roles of advanced practice nurses.
After working for a Visiting Nurse Association in New Haven, Knollmueller joined the Yale University Community Health Nursing program in 1973, where she taught until the mid- 1980s. She later taught at the University of Kentucky and University of Connecticut.
She was at the forefront of the movement that saw nurse practitioners assume a greater role in primary care. She helped establish ANA's Council of Primary Care Nurses, serving as its first vice-chair in 1974.
In 1976, Knollmueller co-authored ANA's first scope of practice statement and standards of practice for adult and family nurse practitioners – the first policy documents of their kind for advanced practice nurses and an ANA model for other advanced nursing practice specialties.
Knollmueller co-authored two books on public health nursing that received the Book of the Year Award in 1992 and 2001 from the American Journal of Nursing.