Abstract of Dr. Ruby L. Wilson Interview

Dr. Wilson speaks about: the three components of the Duke Medical Center during her tenure as dean (Duke School of Nursing, Duke School of Medicine, and Duke Hospital); distinct but congruent nature of the three entities; working with Dr. William Anlyan on the Medical Education for National Defense [MEND] project; details of the project; Dr. Anlyan's request in 1968 that she return to Duke and become dean of the School of Nursing; her initial rejection of the request; state of the School of Nursing and the nursing service at the time; her work (as a faculty member and special assistant to the director of the nursing service) on the experimental nursing project in Hanes Ward, 1961-1962; details of that project; her success in that project being the impetus for her being recommended for the director of nursing services position; Wilma Minniear being offered that position at Wilson's recommendation; Dr. Wilson's return from her work in Thailand to become dean of the School of Nursing; the process of her becoming dean; her work as clinical nurse specialist, beginning in 1963; process of deciding to get an Doctor of Education degree; turning down Dr. Eugene Stead's request that she get an MD; Thelma Ingles's work with Dr. Stead; the National League of Nursing's disapproval of Duke's unorthodox methods; Dr. Stead's support; her work as dean to increase morale in the School of Nursing; creating new courses for the School of Nursing; requesting that her counterpart at the Durham VA serve on the Duke Dean's Committee; creative curriculum offerings at the Duke School of Nursing; strengthening the School of Nursing in various departments that were previously weak; working on committees to study national healthcare; working on committees to open a new building for the Duke Medical Center Library; School of Nursing's involvement in an Area Health Education Center [AHEC]; Highland Hospital; Sea Level Hospital; working on committees to outline a no-smoking policy; other collaborative efforts with the School of Medicine; her lobbying efforts on behalf of nursing; her work on committees to open Duke Hospital North; other women at Duke; articulation of her own legacy; her committee work in the Institute of Medicine; her desire to include women in the physician's assistant program; differences between nurses' and physicians' responsibilities; Duke School of Nursing as operating with cutting-edge ideas; Duke's support of new ideas; her love of challenges and new opportunities.