Claire Fagin

Claire Fagin’s groundbreaking studies on parents and children changed hospital practices around the country long before her term as the first female interim president of an Ivy League university opened new possibilities for women in academia.Fagin’s family encouraged her to become a doctor, but instead she earned degrees in nursing from Wagner College in 1947 and 1948 and began working in New York’s Bellevue Hospital. After earning a master’s in psychiatric nursing from Columbia, she consulted for the National League of Nursing and became assistant chief of the NIH’s new psychiatric children’s unit in 1952. Her work at NIH led to an important study showing the positive effect on children’s care and recovery of parents rooming with hospitalized children. She taught at NYU for several years before chairing the nursing program at Lehman College in 1969. In 1977 she became dean of the nursing school at the University of Pennsylvania, making it the highest-ranked nursing school in the country. From 1991–1993 she also served as president of the National League for Nursing, and in 1993 she became the one-year interim president of Penn. In 1998 she added the American Academy of Nursing’s “Living Legend” award to her many honors.

Topics: Medicine

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Nurse Claire Fagin.

Photo courtesy of The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

Date of Birth

New York, NY
United States

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Claire Fagin ." (Viewed on June 20, 2021) <>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox