Myrtle Irene Brown Papers, 1946-2007
| Manuscripts Gifts 2008 | Front Page 2008 | Previous Issues | Friends of the Library |
A gift to SCL Manuscripts Division announced in 2008
Three and three-quarter linear feet, 1946-2007, documenting the career of nursing educator Myrtle Irene Brown (1915-2007) consist of lecture notes; correspondence files connected with Dr. Brown’s teaching, speaking engagements, research, and participation in continuing education workshops and professional organizations; speeches; and published and unpublished papers. | Manuscripts Gifts 2008 | Previous Issues | Endowments | Friends of the Library |
Myrtle Irene Brown, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N., a native of East Peoria, Illinois, lived the last thirty-seven years of her life in Columbia, S.C. After completing course work at the Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in Peoria in 1936, Irene Brown earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Eureka College, Eureka, Illinois, in 1939. She went on to study nursing education at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, completing her Bachelor of Science in 1942 and a Master of Science degree in Public Health from the same institution in 1947. She garnered her Ph.D. from the School of Education, New York University, in 1961.
Early in her nursing career Brown was interested in pediatrics and later her interests shifted to gerontology. She was employed as an instructor and pediatric nursing supervisor at Montana State College and Deaconess Hospital, Great Falls, Montana, 1939-1941, and in a similar capacity at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing and Children’s Hospital, 1942-1949. She was internationally known as a researcher in the fields of Maternal-Child Health, Gerontology, and the role of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and studied and researched child health care with Dr. Benjamin Spock. During the polio epidemic in the late 1940s she worked with Sister Kenney in the development of treatments and care for those with polio, after which she spent the years of 1949 and 1950 serving as a consultant in Maternal-Child Health with the World Health Organization in Delhi, India. Returning to the United States, she held teaching and administrative positions at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health, 1952-1955; New York University, School of Education, Department of Nurse Education, 1955-1961; American Nurses’ Foundation, 1961-1964; University of Missouri, Columbia, 1964-1967; and Duke University, where she served as Dean of the School of Nursing, 1967-1970, and Director of Patient Care, Medical Center Hospital, 1967-1969.
In 1970 Dr. Brown joined the faculty at the University of South Carolina, and until her retirement in 1980 she served as professor and Associate Dean of Graduate Programs at the College of Nursing. Accolades at the time of her retirement attested to the esteem in which Irene Brown was held by colleagues and students alike. Dr. Robert Weinbach, chair of a search committee on which she had served, wrote on 21 May 1980 thanking Dr. Brown for her services to the committee and to the University. “As you know, the work of the Search Committee for a Dean, College of Social Work, is completed....For those of us who had experienced the pleasure of working with you before, you confirmed the belief that your nomination to the committee was a wise one. For those who saw you ‘in action’ for the first time, they now share our understanding of why your retirement represents a real loss to the University.”
Another, perhaps more singular, expression of appreciation came from former student Priscilla Lancaster. “...I know the school will miss you dreadfully,” she wrote on 12 May 1980. “I only hope for future students, they will be able to find someone who can role model learning as well as you have.”