Sarah McLeod, former superintendent and director of UVA's training school for nurses
Like 2-term ANA president Pam Cipriano, interim dean Aug. 1, former nursing superintendent and instructor Sarah McLeod (far right, with her Johns Hopkins student peers) also was a nurse leader.

With the appointment of two-term American Nurses Association president Pam Cipriano as the School of Nursing’s new interim dean this week, we’re taking a look back at the School’s legacy of leadership since its founding nearly 120 years ago.

UVA enjoys a long history of providing leaders for local, state, and national service. Josephine Sarah McLeod (for whom McLeod Hall is named) – director of the University of Virginia Hospital Nursing Service and superintendent of nursing for the training school from 1924-1937 – was one such leader.

Known for her kindness, McLeod advocated for better working conditions for Virginia nursing students, including reducing their work days from 10 to 8 hours, offering sick time, and ensuring that all nursing students had at least an annual physical exam. She's credited with expanding the nurse training school and advocating for more housing for nursing students, an effort that led to the construction of McKim Hall in the early 1920s.


Nine current and immediate-past presidents of key healthcare organizations make UVA their academic home

Over her career, McLeod led organizations from the Graduate Nurses Association of Virginia and the Virginia League for Nursing Education, to the Virginia State Board of Nurse Examiners and, like Cipriano, the ANA - a depth of service that holds true for many on our faculty today.

Though well-connected to nurse leaders across the country through her service, McLeod was neither cool nor distant with her students. Her discipline was always tempered by kindness, and her leadership skills enhanced her effectiveness as she revitalized the hospital’s nursing service and expanded its training program.
Nearly a century after McLeod, UVA Nursing remains home to faculty and administrators who hold leadership positions in key state, regional and national nursing organizations. Currently, nine current and immediate-past presidents of key healthcare organizations make UVA their academic home, teaching, mentoring, and serving concurrently, and inspiring legions as they do so.

They include:

- Prof. Tomeka Dowling, Virginia League for Nursing president
- Prof. Ishan Williams, Southern Gerontological Society president
- Prof. Katrina Debnam, chair of the Early Career Preventionist Network
- Prof. Arlene Keeling, AAHN president
- Prof. Mary Gibson, AAHN immediate past president
- Prof. Emily Drake, AWHONN - The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses immediate past president
- Prof. Clareen Wiencek, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, immediate past president
- Prof. Pam Cipriano, American Nurses Association, immediate past president
- Dean Dorrie Fontaine, Virginia Colleges of Nursing, immediate past president

Like McLeod, we salute this group for their capable, kind, compassionate leadership.

This FlashbackFriday brought to you by the Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry.