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Geister, Janet M. (1885–1964)

Geister, Janet M. (1885–1964)

American nurse. Born Janet Marie Louise Sophie Geister, June 17, 1885, in Elgin, Illinois; died Dec 8, 1964, in Evanston, Illinois; dau. of Sophie (Witte) Geister and Jacob Christian Henry Geister.

Fought for improved conditions for privateduty nurses (the largest group of nurses before WWII); graduated from Elgin's Sherman Hospital School of Nursing (1910) and from the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy (social work certificate, June 1914); hired (1917) by Julia Lathrop, then the federal Children Bureau's Chief, to investigate the high infant mortality rates in northern Montana; worked on the "Save 100,000 Babies" campaign (1918); employed (Oct 1919) as the National Organization for Public Health Nursing's (NOPHN) Field Secretary; diagnosed with uterine cancer (1921); was the executive secretary (1923–27) of the Foundation Committee on Dispensary Development, an organization that studied NYC dispensaries; revealed the poor work conditions of 1,400 privateduty nurses in an independent survey (results were published in the American Journal of Nursing); hired by Lillian Clayton (then ANA president) to serve as director (Aug 1926–Mar 1933) of the American Nurses Association's headquarters; became associate editor of Trained Nurse and Hospital Review (June 1933), then editor (1941); wrote "Plain Talk," a column in Trained Nurse and Hospital Review and "Candid Comments" for the journal RN.

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