Membership accomplishments: AAMN past-president inducted into NC Nurses Association Hall of Fame.
The North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA) acknowledged the extensive contributions of Dr. Russell E. Tranbarger to nursing and health care by inducting him into NCNA Hall of Fame on October 12, 2011. Dr. Tranbarger was the first man to serve as President of the North Carolina Nurses Association and the first appointed as Chair of the North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON).
During his tenure on the NCBON, he chaired the Task Force to re-write the North Carolina Nurse Practice Act. The resulting legislation corrected major flaws in the existing Act by creating the first elected BON in the country, establishing term limits for members, and eliminating the participation of physicians and administrators in defining nursing practice. In addition to state legislative issues, he actively participated in the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO) Task Force to develop standards for nursing services which laid an essential foundation work for future evolution of JCAHO standards. He also served on the numerous task forces and committees with the American Nurses Association.
Perhaps his most significant contribution has been his visible and pioneering spirit to encourage the nursing profession to invite, accept and embrace men in the profession. Dr. Tranbarger has participated in the leadership activities of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) since joining in 1990. He has been elected the organization's president twice and has held every office on the AAMN Board of Directors. In addition, he served as editor of the AAMN newsletter, InterAction, for six years. As a role model for men in nursing, he has been instrumental in setting aside archaic and dismissive stereotypes of nursing as a female-only profession. His steadfast insistence that men are valuable contributors to the nursing profession has broken many barriers for men to become nurses and has increased the visibility and acceptance of men in nursing. Many of his extensive publications addressed the discriminatory environment men encountered in nursing, and his latest book, Men in Nursing: History, Challenge, Opportunities, extolled the rich history and documented the extraordinary contributions of men to nursing. Due to his efforts, other men have encountered a more accepting and appreciative atmosphere from nurses, other health care disciplines, and the public.
Dr. Tranbarger established himself as a leader in nursing early in his long and illustrious career, and he created an impressive record of accomplishments that provide a springboard for the future of nursing. He excelled as role model, administrator, educator, clinician, advocate, mentor, and pioneer, and he truly presents Hall of Fame credentials. His influence on the nursing profession and health care is widespread, and his leadership has established a solid foundation to address the challenges nurses face in the future.
By Philip Julian, RN, MSN, PhD(c)