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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Geraldene Felton papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1951-2004
Creator: Felton, Geraldene (1926-)
Extent: 9.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0330
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Professor and former dean of the University of Iowa College of Nursing.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 2 . 

Arrangement: Two books that mention Felton and her achievements in nursing are filed in the printed work collection of the Iowa Women's Archives: Complete in All Its Parts: Nursing Education at the University of Iowa, 1898-1998 by Lee Anderson and Kathy Penningroth (1998) and The Path We Tread: Blacks in Nursing Worldwide, 1864-1994 by M. Elizabeth Carnegie (1995).

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 452) were donated by Geraldene Felton in 1997 and subsequent years.

Preferred Citation: Geraldene Felton papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason

Geraldene Felton was born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1926 to Ethel Martin Felton and Fletcher Felton. Felton was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by her mother, who worked as a housekeeper and in a hospital laundry to provide for Felton and her younger sister. Although she grew up in relative poverty, Felton recalls her childhood as privileged and happy with many educational opportunities. Felton graduated from Girls High School in Philadelphia. She then went on to earn a BSN in 1960 and an MSN in 1962 in medical-surgery nursing at Wayne State University College of Nursing. She earned a doctorate in nursing from New York University in 1969.

In 1949, Felton joined the United States Army Nurse Corps, serving as a staff nurse until 1956. During this time Felton was sent to Japan for three years and then served a thirteen-month tour of duty in a MASH unit in Korea. Felton worked for the United States Army Nurse Corps from 1949 to 1975 holding a variety of teaching and clinical positions including staff nurse, nursing supervisor, nurse anesthetist, and deputy director of the Department of Nursing at Walter Reed Institute of Research. Additionally, she held faculty positions at the University of Hawaii and Georgetown University. Felton officially retired as an Army Nurse Corps officer in 1975.

Following her retirement from the Army Nurse Corps, Felton became Professor and Dean of Nursing at Oakland University School of Nursing in Rochester, Michigan. It was at Oakland University that Felton met David Evans. The couple eventually married. From 1981 until her retirement in 1997, she served as Professor and Dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. From 1997 to 2001, Felton served as Executive Director of the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).

Felton is a Charter Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and a member of Sigma Xi, the Iowa Women's Foundation and Rotary International. She is also a tutor in Adult Literacy Program. Felton has held the following positions: chair of the National Institutes of Health Nursing Research Study Section, member of the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary's Commission on Nursing, president of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, member of the Board of Directors of Mercy Health System, Farmington, Michigan, member of the Board of Directors of the North Central Association Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, chair of various National Institute of Health advisory groups and ad-hoc Special Study Sections for the Division of Research Grants, The National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine Committees on Enhancing Environmental Health in the Practice of Nursing and Military Nursing Research.

Felton's honors have included: an honorary doctorate from the Medical College of Ohio (1997), being named the University of Iowa Kelting Professor of Nursing (1996), becoming Dean and Professor Emeritus of Nursing at the University of Iowa (1998), being named a 'Living Legend' by the American Academy of Nursing (2000), and becoming Senior Fellow, The John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing, Division of Nursing, New York University (2001).

The Geraldene Felton papers date from 1951 to 2004 and measure 9 linear inches. The papers are arranged in three series: Biographical information, Nursing, and Photographs.

The Biographical information series consists of Felton's vitae, a presentation titled "Reflections on Becoming an Iowan" that she made to the Rotary Club of Iowa City, and a personal statement regarding her childhood, education, influences and her philosophy of life. Various honors and awards, copies of her military citations and articles about Felton are included in the series. The tape and transcription of an oral history interview with Felton conducted by the Iowa Women's Archives cab be found in the collection "Giving Voice to Their Memories: Oral Histories of African-American Women in Iowa."

The Nursing series consists of numerous papers authored or co-authored by Felton, as well as materials related to conferences where Felton served as keynote speaker or presented her work and projects that Felton either assisted or directed during her lengthy nursing career.

The Photographs series consists of portraits of Felton and snapshots taken at the unveiling of her portrait when she was named Dean and Professor Emeritus of Nursing at the University of Iowa.
Giving Voice to Their Memories: Oral Histories of African American Women in Iowa.

Includes an oral history interview with Geraldene Felton.

Browse by Series:
Series 2: NURSING

  • Box 1:
  • Biography, undated - 1995-2003
  • Honors and awards - 1996-2000
  • Military citations - 1951-1975
  • Articles - 1972-2004
  • AC370: Oral history interview - 1997
  • Series 2: NURSING
  • Sub-Series: Conferences (5 folders)
  • Box 1:
  • Creating Research Environments in the 1980s (Midwest Nursing Research Society) - 1981
  • Evaluating Research Preparation in Baccalaureate Nursing Programs (National Conferences for Nurse Educators) - 1982
  • The Extended Role of the Nurse ( University of Hawaii) - 1969
  • First National Nursing Conference on Affective Disorders: Clinical and Research Perspectives (Continuing Nursing Education, University of Iowa) - 1982
  • Lessons from the Past Visions for the Future (Annual Forum on Doctoral Education in Nursing) - 1996
  • The Nursing Administrator and Clinical Research ( Bradley University, Illinois) - 1987
  • Nursing Research: Policy, Impact, Issues ( Midwest Nursing Research Society) - 1983
  • Special Needs of Selected Racial/Ethnic Population Who Abuse Alcohol and Other Drugs (Southern Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing) - 1992
  • Sub-Series: Felton as author (2 folders)
  • Box 1:
  • Accommodating the Biological Clocks of Shift Workers - 1992
  • Advanced Practice Nursing in Iowa, undated
  • Application of Computer Technology in Two Colleges of Nursing - 1985
  • Biological Rhythm Research: Application to Nursing - 1978
  • Body Rhythm Effects on Rotating Work Shifts - 1975
  • Book review of Regression Analysis by Example (Samprit Chatterjee and Bertram Price) - 1978
  • Building for the Next Century, undated
  • Clinical Specialist Preparation for the Nurse Anesthetist - 1972
  • The Coming of Age of Military Nursing Research - 1998
  • The Collaborative Process of Generating a Nursing Research Study - 1976
  • Creating Presentation Graphics with MS-DOS Computer Technology - 1989
  • The Current Generation of Research Proposals: Reviewers' Viewpoints - 1993
  • Effect of Time Cycle Change on Blood Pressure and Temperature in Young Women - 1970
  • An Evolved Ethos, undated
  • Increasing the Quality of Nursing Care by Introducing the Concept of Primary Nursing: A Model Project - 1975
  • Measurement of Nursing Students; and Nurses' Attitudes Toward Cancer - 1978
  • Multiple Classification Analysis (MCA) in a Study of Nursing Performance - 1986
  • The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission: Accreditation, Coordination, Collaboration, and Information Sharing - 1999
  • Nurses: Neglected resource in health reform - 1993
  • Nurses and Their Work, undated
  • Nursing: A Profession to Celebrate - 1989
  • Nursing: A Wealth of Careers for the '90s and Beyond, undated
  • Nursing and the Academic Enterprise: A Covenant with Quality, undated
  • Nursing Behaviors in Bereavement: An Exploratory Study - 1976
  • Nursing Entrepreneurs: A Success Story - 1985
  • On Women, Networks, Patronage and Sponsorship - 1978
  • An Opinion Piece: The Consensus Conference - 1991
  • Pathway to Accountability: Implementation of a Quality Assurance Program - 1976
  • Perspectives on Faculty Development - 2000
  • Politicization of Health Professions Regulation - 1998
  • Preoperative nursing intervention with the patient for surgery: outcomes of three alternative approaches - 1976
  • Preoperative Teaching, undated
  • Box 2:
  • The Quest for Excellence - 1972
  • Regression models in the study of circadian rhythms in nursing research - 1973
  • Research and the Nurse in Community Mental Health - 1982
  • Should There Be a National Institute for Nursing? - 1984
  • Socialization and Graduate Education in Nursing: Exploration in Strategy, undated
  • Studies on the Locus of Nursing Research Activities at the National Level - 1985
  • Those nurses who won't rotate shifts may know what's good for them and their patients - 1971
  • Today's Nurse, undated
  • Today's nurses add research to critical skills - 1988
  • Sub-Series: Projects (4 folders)
  • Box 2:
  • Education for Nursing Practice in the Context of the 1980s (National Task Force on Education for Nursing Practice, American Nurses' Association) - 1983
  • A Monograph for Non-Nurse Researchers ( College of Nursing, University of Iowa) - 1983
  • Research and the Nurse in Community Mental Health (Oakland University School of Nursing, Michigan), undated
  • Rhythmic Correlates of Shift Work (Walter Reed Army Institute of Research) - 1972
  • Teaching Ethnic Diversity in a New Program ( Oakland University School of Nursing, Michigan) - 1980
  • Series 3: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 2:
  • General - 1998