A Maverick Nurse - A Nursing Legend
About the Book
The biography of Luther Christman Ph.D, a highly honored but controversial leader in American nursing, traces the profession and intellectual development that led this coal miner's son to become Vice President of Nursing Affairs, and the Dean, College of Nursing, Rush University.
Luther Christman, a white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant, heterosexual family man, had none of the attributes normally associated with discrimination. Yet he encountered gender discrimination because he was a man in a woman's profession. He was called a pervert when requesting maternity experience. He was refused admission to the Army Nurse Corps in World War II, and entry to two university nursing programs simply because he was a man.
Undeterred, Christman gained qualifications in psychology and his research lead to high level appointments in university nursing facilities. A capable administrator, he became the first male to hold the joint appointments of dean of nursing and hospital director of nursing. He developed the Rush Model of nursing that gained him an international reputation as a nursing leader. Despite these achievements he hit a glass ceiling in the middle of his career.
The biography describes Christman's strategic plans for the development of the nursing profession, which entailed a critique of its organization, policies, practices, education and female domination that challenged nursing leaders, physicians and hospital leaders alike.
But in the end, the profession that put so many barriers in his path deemed him a 'Living Legend'. As a retired, sprightly 90 year-old, he reviews books for the American Journal of Nursing, is president of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing and is still a provocative advocate for his vision of nursing.
About the Author
Dr Elizabeth Pittman, adjunct senior lecturer, School of Nursing, La Trobe University, Australia, recently retired as Director, Continuing and Distance Education Unit. She now writes on nursing and health issues. Dr Pittman holds master and doctorate degrees in education from the University of Melbourne and is a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Nursing (RCNA). In 1978, she was awarded the La Trobe Universtiy, David B Myer's Medal. She is a member of the Mental Health Research and Ethics Committee, Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Dr Pittman was funded by the RCNA to undertake research on the roles of nurse administrators and educators and their educational requirements in the early 1980s when nursing education was moving into universities in Australia and baccalaureate degrees became the entry level to registration. She contributed a chapter in Gray and Pratt (eds.), Issues in Australian Nursing, has published academic papers in journals and delivered papers at conferences on nursing topics. She has written correspondence subjects for students, including a master's level subject titled Leadership in Nursing, plus numerous editorials and articles promoting distance education.
Dr Pittman has just completed a book titled Take your medicine with a grain of salt, which is a critical history of self-medication and the pharmaceutical industry, Western Medicine and Contemporary and Alternative Medicine and what we expect of each and what they deliver. She is also co-authoring a History of the Joanna Briggs Institute.