Alumna Reflects on Role in Setting the Standard for Nursing School Accreditation
From the five cottages behind LDS Hospital that housed nurses, Katherine Brim (BSN, 1945) had a spectacular view of the Salt Lake Valley—and a short commute to the hospital where she held several positions between 1943 and 1946. After earning her bachelor of science in nursing degree from the College of Nursing, she set her sights eastward: to New York City. Inspired by the College’s first dean, Hazelle Macquin, who had studied at Columbia University, Brim moved to New York in 1946 and entered Columbia University to pursue graduate study.
Following the completion of her master of science in nursing degree, Brim returned to Salt Lake City and joined the faculty of the College of Nursing. With opportunities in nursing abundant, her stay was brief, and in 1954 Brim again ventured to the east coast: this time for a position with the National League for Nursing. Just two years into its merger with the National Organization for Public Health Nursing and the Association for Collegiate Schools of Nursing, the League had assumed responsibility for the accreditation of nursing schools in the United States; it sought Brim’s help in developing accreditation standards. “It was an exciting time to be at the center where major changes in nursing education were being initiated and implemented,” she says of her work with the organization. “The great thing about nursing education is that it is constantly evolving. Ten to fifteen years from now it will be different too.” Brim chronicled the League’s impact on nursing education in A History of Diploma Programs in Nursing and the National League for Nursing: 1952-1987, which was published in 1989.
In a 1993 open letter to her classmates, aptly named My Story, Brim acknowledged the importance of nursing throughout her life, writing, “Until 1985, when I retired from the League, my life primarily focused on activities associated with my career in nursing.” In an effort to make family the focus of her retirement years, Brim returned to Utah in 1989 and continues to live in Salt Lake City today. Over the years she has enjoyed service with the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, and the Women’s State Legislative Council of Utah. She also has volunteered at the Museum of Fine Arts at the University of Utah. A strong commitment to healthy aging motivates the active and engaged 90-year-old College of Nursing alumna to take a walk every day, rain or shine.By Katie Schrier College of Nursing, Development Manager