RADM Jessie M. Scott, DSc, RN, FAAN (1915–2009) (2014 Inductee)

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2014 Hall of Fame Award
This prestigious award recognizes an individual’s lifelong commitment to the field of nursing and its impact on the health and/or social history of the U.S.

RADM Jessie M. Scott, DSc, RN, FAAN (1915–2009)
Pennsylvania State Nurses Association

The late Rear Admiral Jessie M. Scott was respected for her integrity and ability to utilize the resources of the government to improve the nursing profession nationally and internationally. Her dedication and commitment to nursing served as an inspiration to all registered nurses.

Rear Admiral Scott received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1943 and her master’s degree in personnel administration from Columbia University in 1949.

She then became assistant executive secretary of the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, a position she held until she entered the Public Health Service, Division of Nursing, in 1955.

Rear Admiral Scott became the deputy chief of the service in 1957. In 1964, the surgeon general appointed her the second director of nursing. Rear Admiral Scott was assistant surgeon general in the U.S. Public Health Service and led the Division of Nursing for 15 years. She was instrumental in the passage and implementation of the Nurse Training Act. Her career led her to address nursing shortages from Arkansas to Connecticut and later to work with nursing education programs in India, Egypt, Liberia and Kenya.

Rear Admiral Scott received 16 honorary degrees, and the University of Maryland established the Jessie M. Scott Health Policy Award in her honor.

In 1973, Rear Admiral Scott was recognized as a “living legend” by the American Academy of Nursing and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal of the Public Health Service that same year. She also received the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) Honorary Recognition Award in 1972.

Additionally, ANA established the Jessie M. Scott Leadership Award in 1979, which is presented to a registered nurse whose accomplishments in a field of practice, education or research demonstrate the interdependence of these elements and their significance in the improvement of nursing and health care.

After retirement from the Public Health Service, Division of Nursing, in 1979, Rear Admiral Scott lectured at George Mason University and at the University of Maryland’s graduate nursing program, as well as at the University of Texas, and she remained active in international nursing issues and public health policy projects until her death in 2009.

Rear Admiral Scott was a pioneer, and her legacy will continue to strengthen the nursing profession nationally and internationally.