Ruth Murphy, RN, formerly of El Dorado, was inducted posthumously into the Kansas State Nurses Association (KSNA) Hall of Fame at its centennial gala, held in Wichita Oct. 12. She was one of four inductees of the KSNA Founders Class to the Hall of Fame.
Her surviving family members accepted this special recognition in her behalf and included her daughter Maggie Gard of El Dorado, Michael Murphy and Patricia Arnold.
Nurse Murphy graduated from Wichita Hospital (now Via Christi St. Joseph) in 1941. She held supervisory positions at Dodge City, Wichita, Sedan and Independence as well as Ponca City, Oklahoma. She began her sustained, lifelong contribution to nursing practice when she organized and serviced the Elk County Health Department in 1957.
In 1958 Murphy initiated traveling clinics to “span the bridge between the patient and admission to the medical world” (Community Health, Kansas Public Health Association, Spring 1974). On average, she would see 150 patients, ages 0-100, at each two-day clinic as well as make 4,000 house calls in a year. In 1969 she wrote and received a comprehensive health planning grant that supported regular monthly clinics in Grenola, Moline, Longton and Elk Falls. She served as the nurse for county schools, assisted the state in licensing the two nursing homes available in the county at that time, treated accident victims, and held office hours in Howard on one day a week. She also held specialty clinics including free blood pressure checks and publicized these clinics as part of her dedication to health education. She received honorary recognition from the KSNA in 1971; honorary recognition from the Kansas Public Health Association in 1972; and was the first recipient of the Nurse Practitioner Award from the American Nurses Association in 1974.
The KSNA Hall of Fame was established this year to recognize outstanding nurse leaders who have demonstrated excellence through sustained, lifelong contributions affecting health, social history of Kansas or the profession of nursing. Patterned after the American Nurses Association Hall of Fame, the KSNA Hall of Fame is a permanent and lasting tribute to nurses whose dedication and achievements have enduring value beyond their lifetime.
Inductees exhibit excellence in one or more of the following areas: patient care, leadership, education, public service, nurse advocacy, research, heroism, patient advocacy, clinical practice, public policy, economics or literature. Members are honored in a permanent memorial located at the KSNA office in Topeka.
The KSNA is the voice and vision of nursing in Kansas and was founded Feb. 8, 1912 in Wichita.