March 6, 2019 - Edilma L. Yearwood, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, chair of the Department of Professional Nursing Practice at the School of Nursing & Health Studies, has earned the Estelle Osborne Recognition Award from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, where she completed her master’s degree.

The award, given at the annual Estelle Osborne Legacy Celebration, “recognizes alumni or faculty who have advanced the professional development of nurses, served as role models, and actively participated in professional organizations,” writes the college’s dean Eileen M. Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Erline Perkins McGriff Professor.

Georgetown alumna Mary Mahoney and Dr. Edilma Yearwood at the NYU event.

Yearwood had the opportunity to catch up with Mary Mahoney (NHS’12), who completed her BSN at Georgetown and is earning her master’s degree in nursing education this May at NYU. “I was thrilled to see her there at the ceremony,” Yearwood says. ©Kahn: Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau

According to the NYU website, “this annual event celebrates the legacy of Estelle Massey Osborne (1901-1981), a black nurse leader who was a pioneer in organizational administration, and the first black professor in what is now NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Ms. Osborne worked tirelessly to eliminate discrimination in the professional nursing organizations in this country and in society as a whole.”

‘Nursing Treasure and Trailblazer’

“Estelle Osborne was a nursing treasure and trailblazer,” says Yearwood, who delivered a keynote speech at the NYU event on February 27. “In the late 1940s, NYU’s progressive thinking and inclusivity was on display when she was hired as the first African-American to join the faculty. She championed nursing education and, with determination, broke down barriers to build a more representative and inclusive nursing workforce in schools of nursing, the American Nurses Association, and the U.S. Armed Services.”

Dr. Loretta Sweet Jemmott, Dr. Catherine Alicia Georges, and Dr. Edilma Yearwood at the NYU event.

Pictured with Yearwood are Loretta Sweet Jemmott, PhD, RN, FAAN (left), who is vice president of health and health equity and professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University, and Catherine Alicia Georges, EdD, RN, FAAN (center), chair of the Department of Nursing at Lehman College and AARP national volunteer president. “These two women are incredible and have contributed immensely to our profession,” says Yearwood. Jemmott also delivered a keynote at the event. ©Kahn: Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau

Yearwood, a tenured associate professor at Georgetown and fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, has previously served as a U.S. Fulbright senior specialist and president of the International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses. She is co-editor of two significant texts in her field, Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health: A Resource for Advanced Practice Psychiatric and Primary Care Practitioners in Nursing (Wiley-Blackwell 2012) and Routledge Handbook of Global Mental Health Nursing: Evidence, Practice and Empowerment (Routledge 2016).

‘Incredible Honor’

“To receive this Legacy award in her name is truly an honor and an inspiration to continue her work on inclusivity and excellence in nursing education and to intentionally and consistently take a seat at all professional and health care tables to include multiple voices in our dialogue,” Yearwood adds. “I am grateful to Dean Sullivan-Marx and the selection committee for this incredible honor."  

Patricia Cloonan, PhD, RN, dean of the School of Nursing & Health Studies, congratulated Yearwood on this achievement.

“Dr. Yearwood has made important contributions – as an educator, scholar, and leader – to her particular field and the broader nursing profession,” says Cloonan. “I am so pleased to see her commitment recognized with this meaningful award from her alma mater.”