Beverly M. Horn


Beverly Horn, PhD, RN, FAAN attended College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota, and earned her BSN Cum Laude from St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. She obtained her MN (honor student) and PhD from the University of Washington, Seattle. She is also a Certified Transcultural Nurse.

Dr. Horn was at the vanguard to secure the prominence of the University of Washington School of Nursing in the 21 st century. This contribution began in March 1976 when Dr. Horn inquired about a faculty position at the U of W School of Nursing to pursue research and teaching. She was an attractive applicant for the Department of Community Health Care Systems that offered a master’s pathway in Cross-Cultural Nursing. Her major fields of doctoral study were Nursing, Anthropology and Sociology. In July 1976, Dr. Horn was appointed as an assistant professor of nursing at the University of Washington School of Nursing, Dept. of Community Health Care Systems, and in 1983 she was tenured as an associate professor. Dr. Horn also received an appointment as an adjunct assistant professor in the US Dept. of Anthropology in 1979, and was adjunct associate professor from 1983 until her retirement in 2000. Dr. Horn was appointed professor emeritus of the Deptment of Psychosocial and Community Health Nursing in 2001.

During her 25-year tenure at the U of W School of Nursing, Dr. Horn worked consistently on four goals that she identified initially for achievement in 1976: (1) conduct research using an anthropological tradition, (2) contribute actively to the School of Nursing through teaching, advising students, and serving on committees in the department, school and university, (3) contribute to the development of the profession of nursing, and (4) contribute expertise to community service, including working with Seattle Indian Health Board and Seattle/King County Health Department.

As a nurse anthropologist, Dr. Horn set the mark for the School of Nursing to become a leader in transcultural nursing. Her dissertation was a study of social and cultural factors affecting Native American women during pregnancy. This was the first ethnoscience maternal child health nursing study, and the first anthropological transcultural nursing study of the Muckleshoot Indians of the Northwest Coast. This study showed the importance of studying cultural values, beliefs and practices from the people’s viewpoints rather than assuming that Anglo-American middle class nursing or medical values were congruent with those of an indigenous culture. This work led to a cross-cultural study to determine the perceptions of adolescent girls about pregnancy and health care. Dr. Horn also examined the health care needs of residents of San Juan Islands. Research findings, expertise in ethnographic methodology, and experiences in working with Native American tribes were published in articles and book chapters that are classics today. Dr. Horn disseminated this knowledge through presentations at numerous local and national workshops and conferences.

Dr. Horn has made a long lasting contribution to educating nurses at all levels. She has mentored a new generation of nurse researchers. Dr. Horn taught theory building to students in the School of Nursing PhD in Nursing Science program. Graduates have described how Dr. Horn contributed to their conceptualization of the discipline of nursing, and understanding of the contribution of the sociocultural environment to health. She served as a member of many doctoral committees in nursing and anthropology, and both chaired and served as a member of numerous thesis and master’s project committees. Dr. Horn taught undergraduate and master’s courses, including those in Nursing Research, Childrearing Culture and Health, a course cross-listed with nursing and anthropology, Transition to Professional Practice, and Community Health Nursing. She involved doctoral and master’s students in CHARE (Community Resource Education and Advocacy Project), that involved partnerships among the Seattle Urban Health Alliance, the Seattle-King County Public Health Department, and the schools of Nursing and Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Washington. With supervision by Dr. Horn, graduate students learned about community development and community participatory action research. Dr. Horn was renowned for interpersonal skills and facilitated learning in individual students.

Dr. Horn was a consistent leader in the daily life of the School of Nursing. Since her appointment in 1976, she served every year on a school committee, and in some years she contributed to work of ten committees, including the Administrative Council, Undergraduate Admissions and Continuation Committee, the Traineeship Committee, Minority Affairs, Faculty Research Development Committee, and Subcommittee for Doctoral Education. In 1984 she was appointed as acting chair of the Department of Community Health Care Systems. She also served consistently each year on many departmental committees, such as the human subjects review committee, and the continuing education committee. At the university level, Dr. Horn also served on the Adjudication Panel for three years.

While at the UW School of Nursing, Dr. Horn was committed to developing the profession of nursing. Through research and teaching, Dr. Horn generated new knowledge in transcultural nursing, and educated nurses at all levels of preparation.

Dr. Horn also gave dedicated service to several commissions and boards of inquiry. She led inquiry about entry into practice for the Washington State Nurses Association, and she served seven years as a member of the Board of Directors for the King county Nurses Association and four years as a member of the Board of Directors for WSNA.

Dr. Horn worked diligently to ensure the presence of the UW School of Nursing in the larger community. She provided consultation to Seattle Job Corps and Seattle Indian Health Board Clinic, and served as a steering committee member of Rainier Partners in Health and Garfield Partners in Health. She held leadership positions with the Juvenile Court Conference System of the King County Juvenile Court System, the Washington State Nurses Association, the Council of Nursing and Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association, the Transcultural Nursing Society, and the International Transcultural Nursing Society.

She has also received many honors and awards including in 1979, the King County Nurse of the Year Award, in 1986,the Leininger Award for her contribution to the field of transcultural nursing. And as a tireless advocate for underserved populations and minority communities, she received a Community Service Award during the 2001 Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute.

Through steadfast pursuit of professional goals, Dr. Beverly H. Horn made a significant and indelible contribution to nursing in the state of Washington and throughout the country.