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Isabel Hampton Robb

Isabel Adams Hampton Robb (1860–1910) was one of the founders of modern American nursing theory and one of the most important leaders in the history of nursing.

She graduated from the Bellevue Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1883. After gaining experience working as a nurse in Rome she traveled back to the United States to take a position as superintendent of nursing at the Cook County Hospital nursing school in Chicago. In her time as head of the nursing program there she implemented an array of reforms that set standards for nursing education. Most of these standards are still followed today.

One of her most notable contributions to the system of nursing education was the implementation of a grading policy for nursing students. Students would need to prove their competency in order to receive qualifications.

In 1889 she was appointed head of the new Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, where she continued to suggest reforms, participated in teaching, and published the text Nursing: Its Principles and Practice. After five years at Johns Hopkins she married Dr. Hunter Robb, and resigned to follow him to his new position as professor of gynecology at Case Western Reserve University. The Bullough article reports that she herself became a professor of gynecology. However, documents from Case Western and reference books differ from this account. Instead, they show that she worked with Cleveland's new Lakeside Hospital Training School for Nurses, the nucleus for Case Western's future School of Nursing. She also wrote two more books, Nursing Ethics(1900) and Educational Standards for Nurses (1907).

Other accomplishments include terms as president of American Society of Superintendents of Training Schools for Nurses (now known as National League for Nursing), and of the organization that became the American Nurses Association. She was also one of the founders of the American Journal of Nursing.

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