And Still More Work to Do

Sydnee Logan
By Sydnee Logan  | 
And Still More Work to Do

In 1889, Isabel Hampton Robb arrived at the Johns Hopkins Hospital to become the inaugural superintendent of nurses for the brand-new nurse training school. She set the standard of what we would become and began to transform the nursing profession, publishing Nursing: Its Principles and Practice in 1893.

Even when she left, her contributions to nursing didn’t miss a beat. She published the first nursing ethics textbook in 1900 and helped found the precursor to the National League for Nursing.

Hae-Ra Han, PhD, RN, FAAN was named the 2018 Isabel Hampton Robb Distinguished Scholar.

Like our inaugural Superintendent of nurses, she arrived at Johns Hopkins with credentials, compassion, and promise that her work would impact many people for years to come. Here are a few highlights of her accomplishments:

In 2009 she was named the director of the Center for Excellence in Cardiovascular Health in Vulnerable Populations. That center evolved into the Center for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care, which she became co-director of in 2014.

In 2011 she became a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

In 2016 she was confirmed as a full professor.

In 2017 she was confirmed as chair of the department of community public health.

Dr. Han holds additional leadership positions throughout the university, including in the Center for Innovative Care in Aging and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

Most recently, Dr. Han added “co-director of the PROMOTE center” to her repertoire, was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, and was principal investigator for an intervention to prevent women in Baltimore with HIV from contracting cervical cancer that won the Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award.

As the Isabel Hampton Robb Distinguished Scholar, Dr. Han presented the Isabel Hampton Robb Lecture. Her speech was entitled, “Patient Centered Education: How a Health Literacy Lens Can Improve Your Work.”

Dr. Han encouraged us to use health literacy as a patient-centered framework and as an empowerment approach. She left us with seven tips for nurses to improve their communication with patients:

  1. Use plain language
  2. Limit information (make 3-5 key points)
  3. Be specific and concrete, not general
  4. Demonstrate, draw pictures, and use models
  5. Repeat and summarize
  6. Use the teach-back method to confirm understanding
  7. Be positive, hopeful, and empowering

The Isabel Hampton Robb Distinguished Scholar and lecture series honor her memory and the exceptional leaders who have followed her throughout our 130 years. It recognizes achievement at the highest level, based not only a past track record but also the potential for ongoing excellence.

In the audience, a special guest looked on: Isabel Hampton Robb’s great-grandson, Ted Robb.

Left to right: Patricia Davidson, Ted Robb, Hae-Ra Han

Read more:


Sydnee Logan is the Social Media and Digital Content Coordinator for Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. She shares what’s going on here with the world.

Stay Up-To-Date

Get updates on the latest stories, from hot topics, to faculty research, alumni profiles, and more.

Ways to subscribe