Claire Fagin ObituaryClaire Fagin Obituary

Claire M. Fagin, a transformative figure in the nursing profession, known for her roles as a clinician, researcher, educator, and advocate, passed away on January 16 at the age of 97 in her Manhattan home. Fagin made significant contributions to nursing, eventually becoming one of the first women to lead an Ivy League institution, the University of Pennsylvania.

Who was Claire Fagin

Name: Claire Muriel Fagin FAAN (also known as Claire Fagin)
Age and Date of Birth: Born on November 25, 1926, in New York, New York, United States
Place of Birth and Residence: New York, New York, United States (Manhattan)
Date of Death: January 16, 2024, at the age of 97, in Manhattan
Death Cause: Specific cause not disclosed by her son, Charles, her only immediate survivor

Early Life and Education

Claire Fagin was born to Mae and Harry Mintzer, Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, in the vibrant city of New York. Despite her parents’ dreams of her pursuing a medical career like her aunt, a dermatologist, Fagin chose nursing. She completed her education with a bachelor’s degree in science from Wagner College, a master’s in nursing from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from New York University.

Career and Achievements

Fagin gained national recognition in the late 1960s for her groundbreaking research on “rooming in,” challenging traditional hospital rules that separated children from their parents. Her advocacy led to nationwide policy changes, with over 60 percent of hospitals allowing 24-hour visiting in pediatric wings by 1978.

In 1977, she became the dean of Penn Nursing, overseeing remarkable growth in enrollment and establishing the first nursing doctorate program in the Ivy League. Fagin’s leadership also included the expansion of research efforts, the creation of endowed chairs, and the initiation of academic partnerships.

In 1993, Fagin became the interim president of the University of Pennsylvania during a challenging period marked by racial tensions. Although her tenure was temporary, she was hailed as a milestone as one of the few women leading a university at the time.

Legacy and Contributions

Fagin’s impact extended beyond her leadership roles. She played a crucial role in transforming nursing education, advocating for science-based education at colleges and universities. Her efforts elevated nursing into the mainstream of healthcare leadership, establishing it as an autonomous profession with expanded scopes of practice.

Throughout her life, Fagin remained an eloquent advocate for nursing, emphasizing the importance of nurses as full members of the healthcare team. Her legacy includes her work as the president of the National League for Nursing and her advisory role to the World Health Organization.

Claire M. Fagin’s contributions continue to shape the nursing profession, leaving an enduring legacy of empowerment and recognition for nurses worldwide.

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By Alexa Flowers

Alexa Flowers serves as a journalist at the obituaries desk for Her expertise lies in crafting narratives that capture the essence of remarkable lives, spanning national and international affairs, science, the arts, sports, culture, and more. Prior to her current role, she contributed to well-known newspapers and magazines, showcasing her versatile experience in the field of journalism.

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