Juanita Rule: Innovator in nurse education

Juanita Rule was a nurse who became internationally respected for her innovatory work in nurse education. From 1971 to 1976 she was Director of the Institute of Advanced Nursing at the Royal College of Nursing. An honours graduate from Edinburgh University, she was one of the first nurses to take a university degree.

Rule remarked that she was born in Broadstairs but conceived in Mexico. Her father was managing the family tin mines, although he had qualified as a medical doctor. Juanita had hoped to follow him as a medical student at Edinburgh but St Margaret's School, Burnham-on-Sea, where she was a boarder, did not teach science. Instead Juanita became a nurse – although she did eventually study at Edinburgh, taking a degree in Moral Philosophy in 1954.

She enjoyed her nursing training at Bristol General Hospital, 1935-38, but "was sent to matron for various misdemeanours – some ridiculous". Rule was fundamentally nonconformist, and when she first joined the staff of the Royal College of Nursing, in 1948, she found it a bit old-fashioned – "dignified and relentlessly female".

She took a teaching course because she felt it would make her a better ward sister. She then applied for an administrative course because she was unhappy that administrators had too much influence over education – and passed with distinction.

On a World Health Organisation scholarship in 1959 Rule visited nursing schools in the United States and Canada to see how they were developing degree courses. She felt the Ministry of Health let British nurses down over degrees, entirely for financial reasons, not recognising the importance of training beyond the basic apprenticeship level.

Appointed Director of the RCN's Institute of Advance Nursing Education in 1971, Rule pursued the objective of professional education continuing throughout a nurse's career. In 1974 she gave an outspoken RCN Annual Nursing Lecture, entitled "A Crisis of Identity". Rule's "law" was that nursing should put the patient first and develop its own governance. She was appointed OBE in 1976 for her services to post-registration nurse education.

Throughout her life Rule suffered from having broken her ankle at school. It never set properly and she described herself as "an arthritic ward sister".

Laurence Dopson

Juanita Bennett Rule, nurse educationist: born Broadstairs, Kent 20 November 1914; Deputy Director, Institute of Advanced Nursing Education, Royal College of Nursing 1960-71, Director 1971-1976; Honorary Fellow, RCN 1976, Deputy President 1976-78; OBE 1976; died Warminster, Wiltshire 23 March 2008.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Content and PR

£35000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - Mid / Senior

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing digital agenc...

Recruitment Genius: E-commerce Partnerships Manager

£50000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a newly-created partne...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor