Villanova University’s College of Nursing is mourning the loss of Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN, who has served as the Connelly Endowed Dean since 1978. After a three-year battle with cancer, Fitzpatrick passed away last week, but is remembered as being instrumental in the College becoming the premier nursing program it is today.

Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, tells, “Louise Fitzpatrick embodied the spirit of what it means to be a Villanova nurse. She was a visionary, whose leadership in creating the College of Nursing is unparalleled. Louise loved nursing, her college, her students, and everything Villanova. Her legacy will live on at Villanova, in the College of Nursing and in the hearts and minds of everyone she has impacted. The entire Villanova community extends its deepest sympathies to everyone affected by her loss.”

Fitzpatrick helped to construct the master’s, doctoral, and accelerated BSN programs at Villanova. There was only one program in the College of Nursing when she first joined the university, the traditional BSN program for high school graduates. Three centers were also launched within the College of Nursing during Fitzpatrick’s time: The Center for Nursing Research, the Center for Global Public Health, and the MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education.

During Fitzpatrick’s tenure at Villanova, the College of Nursing was recognized as a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing since 2004. Fitzpatrick’s influence also went beyond campus as she helped to strengthen the study abroad and health promotion experiences offered by the university. The college continues to welcome students from around the world and send nursing students out into underserved areas.

Dr. Fitzpatrick will be missed by the Villanova community. To learn more about her nursing legacy at Villanova, visit here.

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