Phyllis Jean Verhonick
Phyllis Jean Verhonick, an early leader in advocating clinical nursing research, was recognized internationally for her research in the care of decubitus ulcers and the skin. Following a career in the United States Army Nurse Corps where she was chief of the Department of Nursing at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, she became the first director of nursing research at the University of Virginia School of Nursing.
"[Phyllis] is a part of the history of modern nursing research and a greater brand of humor and fun could not have been found. She has left a considerable legacy that the history of nursing and particularly nursing research will not forget."
Gloria Francis, Virginia Nurse, 1978
- Charter fellow of the American Academy of Nursing
- Awarded Legion of Merit for her military service
- Advocate for research education in the baccalaureate nursing curriculum
- First Chair of the Virginia Nurses Association Research Professional Practice Group
- Public Schools, Missoula, Montana
- University of Portland, College of Nursing, Portland, Oregon, BSN
- 1944 Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York, MA 1956, EdD 1958
- Columbus Hospital, Great Falls, Montana, Instructor, 1944-1945
- United States Army Nurse Corps, Staff Nurse and Head Nurse 1945-1948
- Seattle University, Seattle Washington, Instructor, 1948-1949
- United States Army Nurse Corps, Staff Nurse, Head Nurse, Educational Coordinator, Nursing Methods Analyst and Clinical Supervisor, 1949-1958 United States Army Nurse Corps, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Department of Nursing, Assistant Chief for Research 1958-1962; Chief of Research 1962-1968
- University of Virginia School of Nursing, Charlottesville, Virginia, Professor and Director of Research 1968-1977; Acting Dean 1972-1974
Verhonick was an early leader in advocating clinical nursing research and a strong proponent of research education at the baccalaureate level. She has been recognized nationally and internationally for her research in care of decubitus ulcers and the skin. Her great wish was for young students to develop an awareness of what research could mean for nurses. At the University of Virginia she taught a course on introductory research with great effectiveness. Many of her students have become productive nursing researchers.
Verhonick was active in many nursing organizations. She served on the Standing Committee on Research and Studies for the American Nurses Association and was the first chair of the Virginia Nurses Association Research Professional Practice Group. She served on committees with the American Nurses Foundation and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing. She was a charter member of the American Academy of Nursing and later served as vice president of the Academy.
Her honors are many and include the Legion of Merit presented by the U.S. Army for exceptionally meritorious service. Following her death, the U.S. Army Nurse Corps established the Phyllis J. Verhonick Award presented to an army nurse who demonstrates excellence in research that significantly contributes to nursing and improves patient care outcomes. The University of Virginia established the Phyllis J. Verhonick Annual Nursing Research Conference where an outstanding student receives the Verhonick Research Award.