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Margaret Gene Arnstein

Margaret Gene Arnstein’s belief that nurses should be involved in health policy and research helped transform her profession. Unusually for her time, Arnstein’s family wanted her to become a physician after she graduated Smith College in 1925 but, inspired by family friend Lillian D. Wald, Arnstein chose to go into nursing and earned master’s degrees in public health nursing from both Columbia and Johns Hopkins. She designed and implemented nursing research for the New York State Department of Health and helped the UN develop nursing services for refugees in WWII. After the war, she joined the US Public Health Service Division of Nursing, becoming division chief in 1960. She wrote a number of books and articles on nursing and public policy, worked with the World Health Organization, and directed the first International Conference on Nursing Studies. In 1967, she became dean of Yale’s School of Nursing and made the school a leader in the field. In 1966, she became the first woman to receive a Rockefeller Public Service Award.

Date of Birth
October 27, 1904
Place of Birth
New York, New York
Date of Death
October 8, 1972

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Margaret Gene Arnstein." (Viewed on February 19, 2019) <>.


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