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Most influential nurses of the last 60 years named in the NT Diamond 20

The 20 most influential nurses of the last 60 years, or their representatives, gathered at a gala reception held at Barts Hospital in London last night to celebrate the NT Diamond 20.

The top 20 ‘thinkers, writers and doers’ from nursing were nominated by Nursing Times readers.

Number one was Nancy Roper, who's theory of nursing has influenced every generation of nurses since its publication in 1976. Her model set out the common core of the nursing required by each patient, regardless of diagnosis or setting, based on everyday living activities.

She reminded nurses to look at the whole patient and taught them to look beyond the obvious, such as eating and drinking, to aspects such as sexuality, and death and dying.

Ms Roper had always wanted to nurse and left school in Wetheral, near Carlisle, to train first as a children’s nurse and then as a general nurse. In 1943, just as she registered, the Territorial Army called up several tutors and she was asked to become a teacher. Only later did she gain her clinical experience before moving into writing and research.

Alastair McLellan, editor of Nursing Times said: 'Among the nurses we honour, you will find those who advanced patients’ rights, pioneered innovative practice, transformed thinking on the treatment of mental illness, played a powerful role in the key political battles that shaped the NHS, revolutionised nursing education, challenged racial and gender barriers and created many of the health services on which we have now come to depend.'

The full list will be published on on Monday and appear in the 9 December magazine.

Check back for exclusive video footage of the evening.


Readers' comments (2)

  • Well Well ..The great and good meet and praise the top most influential Nurses. What a farce..ask anyone who grinds away at this wonderful profession. "who has influenced you the most"..Its my guess that most would not name any of the nominated recipients. To my mind it would have been more productive to donate the cost of the Evening to the local premature baby unit. Where the real unsung heroes work.

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  • To some extent I can agree, heavy lean toward NT people. However, I then see that Phil Barker was awarded. If you take some time to look and explore the impact he has had on the profession I feel your mind might be changed as to the value of his award. Indeed, I would have palced him at number 1! Check out the Tidal Model or his recent award for his work for Civil Liberties - you do not get such international recognision from doing nothing.


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