The Museum of Nursing History, Inc is led by elected officers, a Board of Directors with the support of five committees e.g., Executive, Collections, Education, Membership, and Public Relations. The Museum is grateful for the leadership of these tireless volunteers.

Board members actively participate in acquisition and preservation of nursing uniforms, documents, books, and artifacts. Exhibits of historical items are displayed in designated areas of La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA.

Committees execute a variety of operational activities, as well as plan and promote educational endeavors, schedule rotations of artifacts and uniforms in its variety of glass cases, and plan tours of the Museum for the nursing community and the public.

Bio placekeeper

Sandra K. Davis, BSN MSN EdN, RN


After earning an RN, from Abington Hospital, and working in Emergency nursing I immediately began studies for a BSN from the University of Pennsylvania. Later I moved to Heidelberg Germany with my husband, worked for the Army hospital there has a civilian, and completed the last credits for my Penn BSN in History of the Civil War class taught by a doctoral student studying in Heidelberg. I had not appreciated history before then, but this teacher made it come alive, and I was hooked, thus completing my degree. READ MORE

Jeannine Uribe

Jeannine Uribe, PhD, MSN, RN

Vice President

The Museum of Nursing History is in one of the most historical cities in the United States and it is housed in an historical hospital nestled in a neighborhood with tributes to our past.

I graduated with an associate’s degree from Purdue Calumet, in Hammond Indiana then continued downstate to Purdue in West Lafayette for my BSN. I am a Midwest transplant to the East coast coming to Philadelphia after my term in the Peace Corps. I fell in love with this city and stayed to study, work, and raise my family. Public health nursing is my focus and I earned an MSN at La Salle University in Philadelphia where my interest in nursing history started in a class given by Dr. Sandra Davis, board president of the Museum. For my doctoral work, I was honored to study under the great nurse historians at the University of Pennsylvania, Karen Buhler-Wilkerson, Julie Fairman, Pat D’Antonio, and Joan Lynaugh. My dissertation focused on American nurses who took public health nursing to Chile under the Rockefeller Foundation.

Having a faculty position at La Salle University allows me to monitor and manage our collection as well as guide tours and answer donation questions. We receive fascinating nursing stories and items every month. However, we need your support to keep our items safe and stored. We hope you will contribute to our museum.

Ruth Crothers
Invalid Feeder from Ruth Crother's collection
Invalid Feeder from Ruth’s collection

Ruth Crothers, PhD, RN, CNE


I originally graduated from a hospital-based diploma program (Yes, I have been a nurse that long!). From there I spent many years as a working registered nurse and as a student while completing my BSN, MSN, and PhD in nursing. I visited the Museum of Nursing History many times over the years and followed its evolution, all the while acquiring my own collection of nursing artifacts. The largest of my collections is invalid feeders, which now number around 300!

History fascinated me in high school through an innovative teacher who really made history come alive for his students and then again as I pursued my baccalaureate in nursing. Another innovative teacher inspired me to take every class available at La Salle University on the history of women. It was just a natural progression to a love for the history of nurses and followed that through my doctoral dissertation at Villanova University, which focused on the history and organization of nursing continuing education. I greatly enjoyed spending many weeks exploring nursing history through the American Nurses’ Association (ANA) archives in Boston!

I’m very honored to now be serving with this group of individuals dedicated to making a place “where nursing history comes alive.”

Karen Rossi, MSN, RN


I grew up in Philadelphia PA, both my parents were native Philadelphians, I was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital (16th & Girard Ave. in North Philadelphia), the family moved to Nicetown and had great rowhome memories. My Mother graduated from St Mary Hospital in 1948, she told me how strict her nurse training was and how important it is to always be professional. I learned how to use Hollywood Sani White shoe polish at an early age, no scuffs on nursing clinic shoes allowed, that little sponge was not a good idea when cleaning shoes with liquid white fluid that got all over my hands.

I earned a nursing diploma from Germantown Hospital School of Nursing, after graduation I accepted a staff nurse position in the Intensive Care Unit. I enrolled in The RN to BSN program at La Salle University, completed my BSN and went to a home health nurse position for a short time. l finished a School Nurse Certificate at La Salle and decided education with its varied theorists and outcomes fit into my strategic goals as a professional nurse. I finished an MSN (Adult Health & Illness Clinical Nurse Specialist track), and post- Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education with all courses completed at La Salle University. I remained at La Salle in various staff and clinical roles until retirement.

I am honored to be able to serve on the Museum of Nursing History advisory board. I work with Dr Jeannine Uribe in patching, cleaning and preparing items for display.

Eileen Kelly

Eileen Kelly, MSN, RN

Director at Large

I am a graduate of the Philadelphia General Hospital School of Nursing (PGH), a diploma school. I have always been interested in history. At PGH, they required us to take a Nursing History course. I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and it sparked my interest in Nursing History.

When I started graduate school at La Salle University, one of the first courses I took was an elective graduate course in Nursing History, taught by Sandy Davis, President of the Museum of Nursing History. I loved the course and I learned so much more than my first nursing History course at PGH all those years ago. Sandy was so knowledgeable and passionate about Nursing History. I became passionate about it as well! Sandy recruited me to join the board of the Museum of Nursing History in the 1990’s. I started attending those early board meetings at a café’ in East Falls and became actively involved. We set up the museum and started collecting so many interesting artifacts. Over the years I had to leave the board and focus on my family.

A few years ago, Sandy called me and invited me back to join the board. I am thrilled to be back on board, working with such accomplished and knowledgeable individuals.

Zane Wolf, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN

Director at Large

I am Dean Emerita, School of Nursing and Health Sciences and Professor, Nursing Programs, School of Nursing and Health Sciences at La Salle University. I asked La Salle University to consider providing space for a nursing history museum because Friends Hospital had requested that the collection and office move elsewhere. Brother Joseph Willard visited the hospital to view the collection and office space. La Salle University later agreed to house the museum and has been very generous in continuing to allocate space in St. Benilde Tower to the Museum of Nursing History.

In addition to being a past Board member of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, I benefitted from taking a few history courses at the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania during my doctoral study. I enjoyed my time with the School’s exemplar historians, Drs. Joan Lynaugh and Karen Wilkerson and have enjoyed my time with the members of this Board

Dr. Joan T Large, EdD, RN

Museum Founder

In 1976, as Philadelphia was preparing for the Bicentennial celebration of the United States, Dr. Joan T. Large, a leading nurse educator, became aware that Philadelphia’s important nursing history was omitted in its historic preparations. To remedy this omission, Dr. Large formed a committee of Philadelphia’s nursing leaders, petitioned a grant from Harrisburg and with the blessing of the Southeastern League of Nursing, the committee mounted an exhibit of historic nursing artifacts in the Mutter Museum. The exhibit was extremely successful. As a result, the committee voted to continue exhibiting nursing’s historical artifacts with the goals of informing and educating both nurses and the public about nursing’s significant role in American health care.

As a permanent location was needed to fulfill this mission, with Dr. Large’s leadership, the committee accepted Pennsylvania Hospital’s invitation to relocate the Museum’s exhibits to a space in their original hospital building. Later, in 1980, under Dr. Large’s leadership, the museum applied for, and was granted non-profit corporate status in the state of Pennsylvania, thereby achieving its 501(c)(3) status.

Until her passing in September of 2003, Dr. Large remained a steadfast advocate for her beloved museum as it navigated through the turbulence of society’s evolving health care and social systems. As we now move toward the Sesquicentennial of our country we pause and reflect on the 1976 museum’s founding at the Bicentennial in 1976 and Dr. Large’s pivotal role in that effort.