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Mary Opal Wolanin papers


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.

Overview and metadata sections

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.

Collection Inventory

Scope and Contents note

This series includes a biography, curriculum vitae, nursing school diploma, State Boards of Nurse Examiners Certificate, awards, educational course papers, and Wolanin's obituary.

Biography, 1910-1987.
Box 1 Folder 1
Correspondence, incoming "personal letter from Florence," 1973; and Orthopedic Surgery Athletic Medicine, PA, 1991.
Box 1 Folder 2
Certificates, State board of Nurse Examiners, including correspondence, 1935-1956.
Box 1 Folder 3
Curriculum Vitae, 1990.
Box 1 Folder 4
Diploma, General Hospital Training School for Nurses, No. 1 Kansas City, MO, 1931.
File A Drawer 5
Identification card for Madrid Spain, 1983.
Box 1 Folder 6
Mary Opal Wolanin Scholarship Fund (clinical research) correspondence and invitation, 1985-1989.
Box 1 Folder 7
Nursing school record, Cook County School of Nursing, Chicago, IL, April 1932.
Box 1 Folder 8
Time, Cultural and Social Barrier, Sociology 222.
Box 1 Folder 9
American Nurses Hall of Fame, program and booklet, June 15, 1996.
Box 1 Folder 10
Beta Mu Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau, "Past Presidents" Award, 1991.
Box 1 Folder 11
Gerontology Nurse of the Year, 1982.
Box 1 Folder 12
University of Arizona, College of Nursing, Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science, 1990.
Box 1 Folder 13
70+ and Going Strong: Mary Opal Wolanin, a Nurse for all Reasons, Geriatric Nursing, September/October 1984.
Box 1 Folder 14
Obituary, including correspondence, Mary Opal Wolanin, May 22, 1997.
Box 1 Folder 15
The Value of Evaluation, Business Administration 201, Personnel Management, August 20, 1962.
Box 1 Folder 16

Scope and Contents note

Included in this series are addresses, papers presented by Wolanin on various occasions, articles published in various journals, and research reports.

Keynote Workshop on Utilization of Nursing Research, Denver, CO, November 1976.
Box 1 Folder 1
American Journal of Nursing, "They Called the Patient Repulsive," Vol 64, No.6, June 1964.
Box 1 Folder 2
Arizona Nurse, "The Very Old and Frail Elderly", May-June 1985.
Box 1 Folder 3
Concern,"The Cinderella Effect: an Administration Challenge", December/January 1977.
Box 1 Folder 4
Discharge Planning Update, "The Tyranny of Little Square Boxes", Fall 1985.
Box 1 Folder 5
Geriatric Nursing.
Box 1 Folder 6
Who's Confused Here?, Wolanin and Phillips, July/August 1980.
Box 1 Folder 6
Nursing Therapy, Drug Therapy, or Both?, November/December 1981.
Box 1 Folder 6
Scope of the Problem and its Diagnosis, July/August 1983.
Box 1 Folder 6
Long Road Back from Stroke, H. J. Tiger Wolanin and Arlene M. Putt, May/June 1980.
Box 1 Folder 6
Journal of Gerontological Nursing.
Box 1 Folder 7
Physiological Aspects of Confusion, April 1981.
Box 1 Folder 7
The Aging Nurse, November 19??.
Box 1 Folder 7
Elderly Clients as Educators, King, Aamodt and Wolanin, November 1985.
Box 1 Folder 7
The GNP Newsletter, National Conference of GNP, Inc., "Focus on Wellness", Winter 1988.
Box 1 Folder 8
Nursing Research, "Nursing Activities and Acute Confusional States", January/February 1979.
Box 1 Folder 9
Confusion: Prevention and Care, Wolanin and Phillips, C. V. Mosby Co. [in Center book collection], 1981.
Box 1 Folder 10
Rough drafts of revisions, rewriting, etc., 1981.
Box 1 Folder 11
Box 1 Folder 12
Advances, Pro Scientia, Inc., Villanova, PA, 1983.
Box 1 Folder 13
American Journal of Nursing, 1963-1965.
Box 1 Folder 14
Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, NY, 1991-1993.
Box 1 Folder 15
Critical Care Geriatric Nursing, 1988-1989.
Box 1 Folder 16
Gerontologist, Ringel Institute of Gerontology, Albany, New York, 1987.
Box 1 Folder 17
McGraw Hill Book Company, New York, NY, 1972-1974.
Box 1 Folder 18
National Health Publishing, Owings, Maryland, 1989.
Box 1 Folder 19
Psychosocial Nursing Care of the Aged (book), 1978-1979.
Box 1 Folder 20
Priscilla Ebersole, Professor of Nursing, San Francisco State University, California, 1991.
Box 1 Folder 21
A Theory of Staff Development, undated.
Box 2 Folder 22
Accountability in Nursing, 1970s.
Box 2 Folder 23
Acute Confusional States Following Relocation of the Elderly: Nursing Intervention for Prevention, Wolanin and Holloway.
Box 2 Folder 24
Arthritis and Design Problems, Conference Center Blue Mountain Lake, New York.
Box 2 Folder 25
Celebrating Aging, University of Minnesota, etc., February 7, 1980.
Box 2 Folder 26
Confusion, 1980s.
Box 2 Folder 27
Confusion in the Elderly (mimeograph, 12 pages).
Box 2 Folder 28
Confusion in the Elderly (typed, 11 pages), 1972.
Box 2 Folder 29
Confusion in the Elderly: Predictable and Preventable, Wolanin and Holloway, 1979.
Box 2 Folder 30
Confusional States in the Institutionalized Elderly, 1980s.
Box 2 Folder 31
Confusion Study Use of Grounded Theory as Methodology, Research Conference, 1970s.
Box 2 Folder 32
Continuing Educational Approval Committee Works Toward Evaluation of Nurse Outcomes, 1980s.
Box 2 Folder 33
Critical Care Nursing, 1980s.
Box 2 Folder 34
Depression in the Elderly, "Diagnostic Criteria, Unipolar Depression," UTHSCA, School of Nursing, 1988.
Box 2 Folder 35
Descriptive Study of a Process Measure of Nursing Care in the Nursing Home; Updating Physician's Orders, First Annual Nursing Research Conference, University of Arizona, September 1973.
Box 2 Folder 36
Does It Have Implications for Nursing?, 1980.
Box 2 Folder 37
Dependency, 1970.
Box 2 Folder 38
Depression in Well-Ambulatory Elderly, St. Joseph's Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Box 2 Folder 39
Factors Leading to Effectiveness of Continuing Education Programs, 1975.
Box 2 Folder 40
Familiar and Personal Care in a Coronary Care Unit, 1969.
Box 2 Folder 41
Geriatric Nursing The New Pioneer in Nursing, undated.
Box 2 Folder 42
Is it Research by Nurses on Nursing Research, undated.
Box 2 Folder 43
Important Factors to be Considered in Determining the Experiencing of Time as a Linear Measure, 1970s.
Box 2 Folder 44
Long Term Care, undated.
Box 2 Folder 45
Mainstreaming the Elderly; Social Barriers, 1980s.
Box 2 Folder 46
Medical-Surgical Nurse Looks at Confusion, Gerontological Society Meeting, New York, October 13, 1976.
Box 2 Folder 47
Minimum Nursing Care Standards for The Stroke Patient, undated.
Box 2 Folder 48
Modification of Digitalis and Tranquilizer Use in Nursing Homes, undated.
Box 2 Folder 49
Nurses as Primary Care Givers, undated.
Box 2 Folder 50
Nursing Intervention in Anxiety of Patients Waiting for Cancer Diagnostic Tests Results, 1970.
Box 2 Folder 51
Nurses in the Gerontological Society, 1971-1983, San Francisco.
Box 2 Folder 52
Nursing Care of the Human with Cognitive Loss, 1980s.
Box 2 Folder 53
Nursing Intervention in Anxiety of Patients Waiting for Cancer Diagnostic Tests Results, 1969.
Box 2 Folder 54
Planning Resident and Patient Care, 1970s.
Box 2 Folder 55
Positive Health Education for the Elderly, IXth International, Pergrin and Wolanin, Ontario, Canada, 1976.
Box 2 Folder 56
Process Criterion vs Impact Criterion to Measure Quality of Care in Nursing Homes, 1975.
Box 2 Folder 57
Rehabilitation in Nursing the Geriatric Patient, undated.
Box 2 Folder 58
Rehabilitation of the Patient-Who has Lost Ability to Empty Lower Bowel, undated.
Box 2 Folder 59
Relocation of the Elderly, undated.
Box 2 Folder 60
Retirement, Myth or Reality.
Box 2 Folder 61
Research and Relocation of the Elderly, undated.
Box 3 Folder 62
Research Report, Confusion Study, Use of Grounded Theory as Methodology, Research Conference Paper, 1970s.
Box 3 Folder 63
Research, Determining Ways and Means for Communicating, Research in Nursing, College of Nursing Research Committee, 1975.
Box 3 Folder 64
The Aging Woman and confusion, undated.
Box 3 Folder 65
The Battered Grandma, undated.
Box 3 Folder 66
The Cinderella Effect. And Administrative Challenge, Annual Meeting of the National Association of Jewish Homes for the Aged, Orlando, FL, 1976.
Box 3 Folder 67
The Nurse as Primary Caregiver for Elderly Persons with Confusional States, 1980s.
Box 3 Folder 68
The Nursing Equation, undated.
Box 3 Folder 69
The One in the Middle.
Box 3 Folder 70
The Physiological Aspects of Confusion, 1980s.
Box 3 Folder 71
The Ten Commitments to Nursing.
Box 3 Folder 72
Tools for Assessment of the Older Confused Client.
Box 3 Folder 73
Ways of Transmitting and Receiving Messages by the Elderly, 1979.
Box 3 Folder 74
1000 New Widows in Tucson: Age and Family Support System.
Box 3 Folder 75
Other Miscellaneous papers, undated; Interaction with Environment; Assessment of the Older Person's Ability to Adapt to the Environment, and Assessment of Motor Ability to Adapt to Environment, draft.
Box 3 Folder 76
Celebration of Our Nation's Bi-Centennial, 1976.
Box 3 Folder 77
Human Resources, 1970s.
Box 3 Folder 78
Longitudinal Study, Four Women Between 70 and 90 Years of Life.
Box 3 Folder 79
Methodology of Research in Progress, Introduction.
Box 3 Folder 80
Nursing Service at Handmaker Nursing Home.
Box 3 Folder 81
Nursing Services for the Aged in Nursing Homes and Extended Care Facilities.
Box 3 Folder 82
Study-Nurses and the Confused Patient, an Exploratory Study.
Box 3 Folder 83

Scope and Contents note

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.

Conference and Workshop.
Nurse Researchers Meeting, meeting notes including purpose, Millwood, VA, U.S.A., April 11-14, 1982.
Box 3 Folder 1
The Aging Population: Jamaica, Laurice Victoria Hunter Scott.
Box 3 Folder 2
Columbian Elderly, Ines Gomez De Vargas, RN, MN.
Box 3 Folder 2
Nursing Older Person in the Developing Countries, Mary Starke Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN.
Box 3 Folder 2
Correspondence and summary of Planning Committee Notes, June 1, 1983.
Box 3 Folder 3
Alzheimer's Disease and its Impact on Families: Models for Intervention, Marilyn Pearlman.
Box 4 Folder 4
Partners in Health Aging, Mary Opal Wolanin. Partners in Healthy Aging, Mary Opal Wolanin.
Box 4 Folder 5
Partnership in the Promotion and Investigation of Individualized Nursing for Elderly People, P.M. Ashworth, SRN, SCM, Msc, FRCN.
Box 4 Folder 6
Partnership for Health Sexual Aging, Merrie J. Kaas, RN, MSN Workshop-Caribbean, Hope for the Elderly: The Prevention and Treatment of Confusion, April 17-22, 1983.
Box 4 Folder 7
Correspondence, re: Agenda and planning information, March 14-April 5, 1983.
Box 4 Folder 8
Case Studies-Elderly patient cases.
Box 4 Folder 9
Country Profiles.
Box 4 Folder 10
Report of Workshop Proceedings and Correspondence.
Box 4 Folder 11
A Research Perspective on Elder Abuse: The Elder/Caregiver Partnership Gone Away. Linda R. Phillips, PhD, RN. University of Arizona.
Box 4 Folder 12
Domestic and Plush Animals as Therapy with Elderly, Francis, Baly, Turner and Johnson, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.
Box 4 Folder 13
Ethical Problems in Feeding Senile Demented Persons in the Final Stages of Disease, Norberg A., RN, PhD, Asplund K., RNT, University of Umea, Sweden.
Box 4 Folder 14
How to Increase the Function and Life Quality of Patients Suffering from Senile Dementia, Sm:bye, L.V., RN, The Deakon Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
Box 4 Folder 15
The Bedward Community. A Study in Community Care for the Aging, Francs, S.E., London School of Economics and Brown, F., University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.
Box 4 Folder 16
Katz' Index of ADL-A Common Language of Functional Ability, Aberg, K.M. H., MD, University Hospital, Uppsala, Enkoping Hospital, Sweden.
Box 4 Folder 17
Partnerships in Caring: The Five Hospital Homebound Elderly Program, Draper-Huebner, E., RN, MS, Northwestern University, IL.
Box 4 Folder 18
Preliminary Information about the Old People in Honduras, Ordonez, A.T., MD, Asociacion Nacional de Proteccion al Anciano.
Box 4 Folder 19
Students Knowledge and Attitudes Towards Senile Demented Patients, Astrom, S., RN, Adolfsson, R., MD, PhD, Nystrom, L, Sandman, P., RN, Winblad, B., MD, University of Umea, Sweden.
Box 4 Folder 20
Physiology of Aging: Part I-Lesson 1.
Box 4 Folder 21
Physiology of Aging: Part II-Lesson 2.
Box 4 Folder 21
Note, lesson 3 is missing.
Box 4 Folder 21
Assessment for Long-Term Geriatric Care-Lesson 4.
Box 4 Folder 21
Assessment of Depression in the Older Adult-Lesson 5.
Box 4 Folder 21
Nursing Management of Depression in the Older Adult-Lesson 6.
Box 4 Folder 21
Dying: A Part of Living-Lesson 7.
Box 4 Folder 21
Bereavement: The Price of Loving-Lesson 8.
Box 4 Folder 21
Personalized Nursing Care in Dying and Bereavement-Lesson 9.
Box 4 Folder 21
The Assaultive Patient, Part I: Understanding the Problem-Lesson 7.
Box 4 Folder 22
The Assaultive Patient, Part II: Nursing Intervention-Lesson 8.
Box 4 Folder 22
The Role and Functions of a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist in a General Hospital-Lesson 9.
Box 4 Folder 22
Table of Contents and pages 1-64.
Box 4 Folder 23
Pages 65-106.
Box 4 Folder 24
Marquette University, Division of Continuing Education, Combating Confusion in Hospitalized Elders, University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing, 1988.
Box 4 Folder 25
Mountain View Nursing Home, Safford, AZ "Recognition Day for Nurses", January 22 and 23, 1975.
Box 5 Folder 26
Montana State University "Impaired Physical Mobility in the Elderly," Resource book of information on quality care of the elderly and guide book for videotapes (see Series 6, Box 7), 1994.
Box 5 Folder 27
Northwest Texas Conference Council on Ministries, Asbury United Methodist Church, Amarillo, TX, "Workshop on the Church and the Aging", September 7, 1973.
Box 5 Folder 28
American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C., 97th Annual Convention, New Orleans, LA, brochure, and registration forms, August 11-15, 1989.
Box 5 Folder 29
American Health Care Institute, Silver Springs, MD, correspondence re: Nursing Education Conference, New Orleans, LA, September 30-October 1, 1988.
Box 5 Folder 30
University of Kansas, School of Nursing, Regional Symposium on Gerontology, "Confusion of Elderly: Prevention and Prediction (program and papers presented), April 28-29, 1980.
Box 5 Folder 31
University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing. A Post-Graduate Gerontology Nursing Seminar, "Acute Confusional States in the Elderly", June 25-26, 1990.
Box 5 Folder 32
Geriatric Nursing: "Managing Acute and Chronic Health Problems" (agenda and papers), September 6, 1990.
Box 5 Folder 33
Veterans Administration Hospital, Cleveland, OH. Nursing Conference, correspondence, and paper. "Teaching the Family of the Elderly Patient", April 20-21, 1978.
Box 5 Folder 34
1971 White House Conference on Aging, "Physical and Mental Health, (Background book for participants), March 1971.
Box 5 Folder 35
Other-Correspondence, incoming participation in University Series Second National Symposium on Gerontological Nursing, September, 1980, San Francisco, CA, 1980.
Box 5 Folder 36
Alberta Hospital, Ponoka, Canada, Holistic Gerontology Symposium, Caring for and Treating the Elderly, program and M.O. Wolanin, closing remarks, (handwritten), 1985.
Box 5 Folder 37
First (1st) North American Symposium, Toronto, Canada, "Long Term Care Administration, program outline, 1975.
Box 5 Folder 38
Humber College Etobicoke, Ontario, Annual Multidisciplinary Gerontology Conference, (3rd); "Independence and the elderly," program and two day format, 1986.
Box 5 Folder 39
Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, 4th National Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, Abstract book, November 18-21, 1984.
Box 5 Folder 40
London Pastoral Institute, University Hospital, London, Ontario, Communicating with the Elderly, brochure, May 1, 1984.
Box 5 Folder 41
Appendix A, Table 1. Summary of Responses to question, "What Area of Nursing are you Most Interested in Now?", 1980s.
Box 5 Folder 42
Case Study "The Patient as a Person, "Restorative Nursing Conference, includes correspondence, outgoing, November 1963.
Box 5 Folder 43
Confusion in Older Adults: Assessment and Differential Diagnosis, Marianne Matzo, MS, RNC, 1987.
Box 5 Folder 44
Clinical Development Term: Delirium, A Content Outline for Module Development, and Correspondence, 1989.
Box 5 Folder 45
Faculty and Staff Newsletter, Announcement of M.O. Wolanin attending Gerontological Society Meeting, Miami Beach, FL, November 1973.
Box 5 Folder 46
Handbook-Procedures for Healthful Living and Care, undated.
Box 6 Folder 47
Law-Medicine Notes, "Hospital Responsibility for Medical Care," Neil L. Chayet, L.L.B., 1970s.
Box 6 Folder 48
Manuscripts for M. O. Wolanin's review: Psychology News, University of Arizona, Fall, 1993; reprint, "In Memory of me, D. F. McGowin," Ladies Home Journal, October, 1993.
Box 6 Folder 49
Newspaper clipping, "Abuse in Nursing Home Often Subtle," The Arizona Daily Star, August 1, 1976.
Box 6 Folder 50
New York University Medical Center, "Cooperative Care: Patient, Partners and Professionals," reprint, 1981.
Box 6 Folder 51
Physiological Changes Associated with Aging, College of Nursing, University of Arizona, Spring 1976.
Box 6 Folder 52
Project Grant.
Box 6
Confusion in Hospitalized Elders, University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing, 1988.
Box 6
Annual Report, Year 3, December 1, 1990-November 30, 1991.
Box 6 Folder 53
Annual Report, Year 4, December 1, 1991-November 30, 1992.
Box 6 Folder 54
Early Detection and Intervention Strategies for Acute Confusion in Hospitalized Elders: Use of an Admission Intervention Screen (Abstract for presenting study), 1992.
Box 6 Folder 55
Theoretical Framework for the Nursing Care of the Older Person with Memory Loss, 1986.
Box 6 Folder 56
Uniform Minimum Data Set (MDS) for Nursing Home Assessment, February 27, 1989.
Box 6 Folder 57
Workshop, "Depression in the Elderly," content for Days 1-5, 1980s.
Box 6 Folder 58

Scope and Contents note

This series includes two video tapes for instructing nursing staff on "Quality Care of the Elderly."

Impaired Physical Mobility in Elderly, Tape 1, 1:58:02; Tape 2, 1:57:36 (See also Series 3, folder 27), 1994.
Box 7

Scope and Contents note

Includes only one wedding portrait of Martin and Pearl Borrer.

Martin and Pearl Borror, wedding portrait, 1945.
Box 7 Photo 1

Print, Suggest