Abstract. Hildegard Elizabeth Peplau was nationally and internationally known for Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, on September 1, , the. Dr Hildegard Elizabeth Peplau, nursing educator who played major role in Dr. Peplau was born in Reading, Pa., and witnessed the deadly. Hildegard Peplau. Hildegard Elizabeth Peplau (September 1, – March 17, ) was an American nurse who is the only one to serve the.

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Peplau, 89, one of the world’s leading nurses and theorists, known to many as the “Nurse of the Century,” died March 17th,at her home in Sherman Oaks, California. This award is given once every four years for outstanding national and international contributions to nursing and healthcare.

Peplau is universially regarded as the “mother of psychiatric nursing. Peplau’s seminal book, Interpersonal Relations in Nursingwas completed in Publication was delayed for four years, however, because at that time it was considered too revolutionary for a nurse to publish a book without a physician co-author.

Peplua’s book has been widely credited with the transformation of nursing from a group of skilled workers to a full-fledged profession. Since the publication of Peplau’s work, interpersonal process has been universally integrated into nursing education and biogrsphy practices througout the United States and abroad.

Hildegard Peplau

It has been argued that Dr. Peplau’s life and work produced the greatest changes in nursing practice since Florence Nightingale. Peplau was awarded honorary doctoral degrees from universities including: She was one of six children, having two sisters and three brothers.

As a child, she witnessed the devastating flu epidemic of This personal experience greatly influenced her understanding of the impact of illness and death on families. Peplau began her career in nursing in as a graduate of the Pottstown, Pennsylvania School of Nursing.


Hildegard Peplau – Wikipedia

She then worked as aa staff nurse in Pennsylvania and New York City. A summer position as a nurse for the New York University summer camp led to a recommendation for Peplau to become the school nurse at Bennington College in Vermont. There she earned a Bachelor’s degree in interpersonal psychology in Peplau’s lifelong work was largely focused on extending Sullivan’s interpersonal theory for use in nursing practice.

Here she met and worked with all the leading figures in British and American psychiatry. After the war, Peplau was at the table with many of these same men as they worked to reshape the mental health system in the United States through the passage of the National Mental Helath Act of Peplau held master’s and doctoral degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University. In the early s, Peplau developed and taught the first classes for graduate psychiatric nursing students at Teachers College.

Peplau was a member of the faculty of the College of Nursing at Rutgers University from At Rutgers, Peplau created the first graduate level program for the preparation of clinical specialists in psychiatric nursing.

She was a prolific writer and was equally well known for her presentations, speeches, and clinical training workshops. Peplau vigorously advocated tht nurses should become further educated so they could provide truly therapeutic care to patients rather than the custodial care that was prevalent in the mental hospitals of that era.

DUring the s and s, she conducted summer workshops for nurses throughout the United States, mostly in state psychiatric hospitals. In these seminars, she taught interpersonal concepts and interviewing techniques, as well as individual, family, and group therapy. Peplau was an advisor to the the World Health Organization and was a visiting professor at universities in Africa, Latin America, Belgium, and throughout the United States.


A strong advocate for graduate education and research in nursing, Peplau served as a consultant to the U.

Surgeon General, the U. SHe participated in many government policy making groups. After her retirement from Rutgers, she served as a visiting professor at the University of Leuven in Belgium in and There she helped establish hildegaed first graduate nursing program in Europe.

Peplau once said that the test of a good idea was whether or not it had staying power. Her original book from has been translated into nine languages and in biographu reissued in Great Britain by Macmillan of London.

InSpringer pubished a volume of selected works of Peplau from previously unpublished papers. The archives of her work and life are housed at the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University. Peplau is survived by Dr.

Hildegard Peplau – Nursing Theorist

Leitia Anne Peplau and her husband, Dr. A private family service will be held at a later date. Tributes are being planned by the American Nurses Association, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, and other nursing organizations. Hildegard Peplau – Hildegard E. Grayce Sillswith assistance from Dr.

Anne Peplau, and Bertha Reppert.