Professor Fannie Gaston-Johansson, PhD, RN, FAAN was honored in November 2006 for her accomplishments as Dean at Göteborg University School of Nursing in Sweden. During her four year appointment (2000-2005), Gaston-Johansson established the first doctoral program in nursing at the University.
The two-day public tribute included receipt of “The Apple of Knowledge” and a symposium to profile the program of research and doctoral education launched by Gaston-Johansson in 2000. To date, 60 students are enrolled in the doctoral program, six have already received their PhD, and another 10 students will be awarded doctoral degrees in 2007.
Under the leadership of Gaston-Johansson, the main focus of research established at Göteborg University School of Nursing was the patient’s symptom experiences and symptom management for acute and chronic illness. Programs initiated by Gaston-Johansson included studies of: symptom management and quality of life in cancer patients at the end of life; symptom management in lung, prostate, and breast cancer; fatigue in cardiovascular patients; and unexplained chest pain.
Gaston-Johansson’s work in Sweden and the U.S. has led to both national and international recognition for her contributions to the science of nursing. She is the first nurse to be elected to The Royal Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, a scholarly organization established in 1753 that serves as a forum for humanistic learning. Gaston-Johansson was also the first African American female to receive the rank of full professor with tenure at Johns Hopkins University, where she has held the Elsie M. Lawler Endowed Chair since 1993.
In February 2007, Gaston-Johansson will return to her hometown of Hickory, North Carolina to speak at the Catawba Science Center to share with students and adults her pathway from Hickory to Hopkins.