Ora L. Strickland

Ora L. Strickland
National Nursing Leader, Scientist, Educator and Author

Dr. Ora L. Strickland, PhD, is from Mt. Airy, NC.  She attended the segregated Jones High School from 1962-1966.  Strickland earned her BSN from NC A&T School of Nurisng, her MSN from Boston University and her PhD from UNC-Greensboro.  She has earned many awards and is a national nursing leader.

As a young nurse fresh out of college, Ora imagined she would always be taking care of patients at the bedside. In fact, she enjoyed patient contact so much she was reprimanded for spending too much time with them. Early in her career, she worked as a neonatal intensive care nurse taking care of infants, which motivated her to codevelop a videotape designed to train doctors and nurses to provide emotional support to parents with high-risk neonates.

Recognizing the need to touch more lives, Ora decided to take what she learned in the clinical setting and apply it to research. Her research projects explore the commonalities among patients, particularly African Americans, to improve care. Some of her studies have earned national media attention. Her most recent studies have probed coronary heart disease in premenopausal African American women; the integration of home care for sickle cell patients; premenstrual syndrome in women; and hormone replacement therapy as a measure to prevent heart disease and colon cancer. She was also the first researcher in the United States to track and document the symptoms of expectant fathers.

“Our patients provide us with so much knowledge,” the Emory University professor said “We can learn so much about their bodies and their health by observing.”

Ora believes health care must be a collaborative process. The key role for nurses, she said, is to assist patients in making the best decisions by provided health information. “Nurses make a tremendous impact on other people’s lives on a daily basis, whether you are bedside, in the classroom, or in the laboratory”, said the enthuasic doll collector.

Consistent with her belief that God placed us here because we are unfurnished, she is completely devoted to her 13 and 15 year old sons. Her philosophy as a professional woman and mother is simple. “Careers are important, but if you fail at being a mother, then you fail generations to come.”

A 2010 article in the Mt Airy News described Dr. Ora Stickland as a scientist, educator and author and trailblazer who was responsible for the creation of institutes, academic programs, books, medical journals, and more.  Her list of accomplishments continues to grow. Ora Strickland is the daughter of James and Jennie Strickland of Mount Airy, NC.  She graduated from J.J. Jones High School as class valedictorian in 1966.  She continued her education at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in nursing, at Boston University where she received a master’s degree in maternal and child health nursing, and finally at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro earning the doctor of philosophy degree in child development and family relations. When Strickland completed her doctorate at age 28, she was among the first nurses in North Carolina and the youngest nurses in the nation to hold a PhD. Strickland, now Dean of Nursing at Florida International University, has authored 11 books, nine of which have won the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award.  She is the Founding and Senior Editor of the Journal of Nursing Measurement. Among her many honors are her selection as an Endowment for the Humanities Fellow in Bioethics, an American Nurses' Association Minority Doctoral Fellow, and as a Ford Foundation Fellow.   Strickland received the “Trailblazer Award,” from the National Black Nurses Association, the Mary Elizabeth Carnegie Award from the Southern Council on Collegiate Nursing for her outstanding contributions to health and nursing, and was inducted into the NBNA Institute of Excellence.

Biographical Sketch from minoritynurse.com

Ora.pngOra Strickland, PhD, RN, FAANOra Strickland is a nationally recognized leader in women’s health, minority health, and nursing measurement. Not only has Strickland won nine American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year awards, but she was also the first person to hold an endowed professorship in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Formerly a professor at Emory, Strickland is now the dean and a professor at the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Florida International University in Miami.

Strickland began her writing career early. “Writing is storytelling but on paper. If you are excellent at writing, your work will last a long time; its imprint will be longer,” notes Strickland. “You can build and extend on knowledge and present problems and their solutions in new and unique ways.”

Strickland says she recognized that she could write textbooks when she was a student herself. “You can blaze trails [writing],” she adds. “You can really make a difference if you are good at writing textbooks. You can have an impact on how people are taken care of.”

Strickland is the founding editor and served as senior editor of the Journal of Nursing Measurement for 20 years. She has been on a plethora of prestigious editorial boards and panels, including Advances in Nursing Science, Research in Nursing and Health, Nursing Outlook, Journal of Professional Nursing, Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice: An International Journal, Encyclopedia of Nursing Research, Health Care for Women International, Nursing Leadership Forum, and the American Journal of Public Health.

Strickland has been recognized by many groups and organizations. She was the youngest person inducted into American Academy of Nursing at age 29 and has won the “Trailblazer Award” from the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA). She also earned the Mary Elizabeth Carnegie Award from the Southern Council on Collegiate Nursing for her contributions to health and nursing. Additionally, she was inducted into the NBNA Institute of Excellence.
“I don’t think about the awards I won. It isn’t important,” says Strickland. “I get joy in what my students have produced, the research and work they are doing. That is where I find my joy and that is where my rewards come from.”


Compiled by: 
Phoebe Pollitt