Center History

History of the Katharine J. Densford International Center for Nursing Leadership

Established in 1997, the Katharine J. Densford International Center for Nursing Leadership is the nation’s first university-based center dedicated to improving health care worldwide through the development and promotion of nurses as leaders. The Center is committed to helping nurses transform their thinking, partner effectively with others, and create needed change.

Toward that end, the Center serves as a catalyst for generating new ideas; convenes leaders from nursing, other disciplines and organizations to collaborate strategically; and is charged with advancing the science and scholarship of nursing leadership. The Center is named after Katharine J. Densford, an internationally known leader and Director of the School of Nursing from 1930 to 1959.

Through events, programs, research and education, the Densford Center honors the legacy of nursing, explores current issues, and informs the future of health care policy.

Katharine DensfordKatharine J. Densford, director of the University of Minnesota School of Nursing from 1930 to 1959, was an independent and visionary woman who changed the face of nursing in Minnesota and across the globe. She held offices in almost every nursing organization of the time and, more importantly, she was an agent for social change. Through her influence, the School of Nursing helped redefine how leadership could benefit patients, nursing and health care. In 1997 the Katharine J. Densford International Center for Nursing Leadership was created to perpetuate the legacy of this pioneering hero, and to assist nurses in addressing today’s challenges in much the same spirit as Katharine Densford.

Learn more abut Katherine J. Densford