Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing [Contact Us]Claire Fagin Hall, 418 Curie Boulevard, Floor 2U, Philadelphia, PA, 19104-4217
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
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Mary Opal Wolanin was born in Chrisney, Indiana, on November 1, 1910, to Earl Edwin and Florence Abbott Browne. During her lifetime she was a nurse, educator, consultant, author, speaker, advocate and humanist. In 1931, she received a diploma from Kansas City General Hospital School of Nursing in Missouri, and she completed a psychiatric nursing course at Cook County Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, in 1932. She obtained a bachelor of arts degree (1954) and a master's degree (1963) from the University of Arizona. From 1941 to 1943 she served as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and while in the service, she married second lieutenant H. J. Tiger Wolanin. She accompanied her husband on his various military assignments in the years 1944-1951. In this period, Mrs. Wolanin held positions of staff nurse, supervisor, and instructor in Mississippi, Louisiana, Ohio, Arizona, and Nebraska. Her work included experience in obstetrical nursing and care of Native Americans with tuberculosis. The Wolanins returned to Arizona in 1958. Two years later Wolanin joined the faculty at the University of Arizona School of Nursing and retired in 1987 as associate professor emeritus.
During her tenure at the University of Arizona and through Wolanin's sustained effort, a graduate program in gerontological nursing was established, one of the first of the kind in this country. In 1968, she was given a joint appointment with newly established Regional Medical Program and began studying the needs of nursing homes and long term care in Arizona. She demonstrated leadership and expertise in improving the health care status of older adults.
Among Wolanin's credits are the book Confusion: Prevention and Care which established her authority on the subject of confusion in the aged. She provided consultation on gerontological nursing and presented many scholarly papers in the United States and abroad. Author of numerous articles, books, and book chapters, she received many honors and awards such as Gerontological Nurse of the Year, 1982, American Nurses' Association, Division of Gerontological Nursing. Additionally, she was inducted into the American Nurses Hall of Fame in 1996. She was active for more than 60 years in nursing. Wolanin died on May 22, 1997. To her colleagues she a guiding light in gerontological nursing.
- University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Center staff, updated by Bethany Myers
- Access Restrictions
This collection is unrestricted.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Center with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.
This series includes a biography, curriculum vitae, nursing school diploma, State Boards of Nurse Examiners Certificate, awards, educational course papers, and Wolanin's obituary.
Included in this series are addresses, papers presented by Wolanin on various occasions, articles published in various journals, and research reports.
This series documents Wolanin's involvement with various organizations with which she was associated such as the International Nursing Interchange of Project Hope and the Gerontological Society Foundation.
This series includes two video tapes for instructing nursing staff on "Quality Care of the Elderly."
Includes only one wedding portrait of Martin and Pearl Borrer.