Mussallem, Helen Kathleen

Helen Kathleen Mussallem, nursing educator (b at Prince Rupert, BC). After beginning her career as a staff nurse at the Vancouver General Hospital, she served overseas during WWII as a lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. A graduate of Columbia University's Teacher's College, she was an instructor, then director of education, at the VGH School of Nursing. She was the first Canadian nurse to earn a doctoral degree.

Active throughout her career in nursing education, she served as executive director of the Canadian Nurses' Assn 1963-81. She received several awards and citations for her work as a nursing educator both in Canada and abroad where she advised international organizations such as the International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization. Her publications have helped to define the professional role that nursing plays in the health care field.

In 1981 she received the highest award of the International Red Cross, the Florence Nightingale Medal. The National Nursing Library was renamed the Helen K Mussallem Library in her honour that same year. She was made an Officer in the Order of Canada in 1969 and was promoted within the Order to Companion in 1992. She served as Honorary Chair of the 1999 International Nursing Week and is currently active in many volunteer associations.