EDITOR’S NOTE: This article appears in Salute to Nurses 2017. Find the full magazine at http://gatehouse.morecontentnow.com/news/20170320/salute-to-nurses-2017-its-your-time.

Compassionate, driven, caring, trustworthy and dependable are just some of the words that describe nurses. For five outstanding people in the nursing profession, here are two more: Living Legends.
The American Academy of Nursing bestows its highest honor on four to five nurses each year, naming them Living Legends. These eminently accomplished pacesetters have made huge contributions in nursing and health care over the course of their careers.
Here are the most recent recipients, along with a brief description of the multiple contributions they have made to nursing that continue to reverberate throughout the health services field today.
Linda Burnes Bolton
A renowned champion of community nursing and a global advocate for empowering communities of color to actively participate in their care, Burnes Bolton has been committed to enhancing patients’ health literacy and increasing diversity within the health profession. “I stand on the shoulders of nurses in science, academia, practice and community that have contributed to improving health and health care across the world,” she said.
Ann Wolbert Burgess
This Connell School of Nursing professor is a trailblazer in the study of the impact of trauma and abuse on victims. A professor of psychiatric nursing at Boston College, Burgess is a pioneer in the field of forensic nursing, which is the intersection of law and nursing. She has worked with the FBI to study links between child abuse, juvenile delinquency and subsequent perpetration, and her current research focuses on elder abuse in nursing homes and military sexual trauma. “Nursing is a wonderful career. Nursing offered me not only the opportunity to care for patients but to continue to do research and advance nursing science,” she said.
Joyce J. Fitzpatrick
Previously serving as the dean of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Reserve Western University, Fitzpatrick is best known for her contributions toward advancing the science of nursing education at universities and health ministries around the world. From developing educational interventions on HIV/AIDS prevention in Uganda to designing a 10-hospital project to improve the nursing care provided to elders, her research has been focused on meaningfulness in nurses’ work lives related to satisfaction, turnover and empowerment.
Martha Hill
Recognized around the globe for her research projects, Hill’s expertise focuses on vulnerable and underserved populations. Her work has been instrumental in the prevention and treatment of hypertension and its complications, particularly among young, urban African-American men. As dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing from 2001 to 2014, and a member of the faculty since the school was established in 1983, she has played a major role in mentoring nurses, students and physicians as clinicians and researchers.
Colleen Conway-Welch
Conway-Welch said she is most proud of starting a “bridge” program at Vanderbilt University where college graduates in other majors can complete a bachelor’s of science in nursing program in 12 months and go right on to complete the master’s in nursing science in 12 months. “I am also most proud of being a nurse-midwife and starting Vanderbilt’s nurse-midwifery education program as well as the clinical program, and achieving a birth center. We do over 1,600 deliveries a month,” she said. “My credo: One gets power by giving it away.”