Joyce C. Clifford


Honorary Degree (1992)
Doctor of Science
Location: Indianapolis
Presenter: Thomas Ehrlich


Joyce C. Clifford, Vice President for Nursing and Nurse in Chief at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, is internationally recognized for her innovations in nursing administration. Under her leadership, Beth Israel Hospital is regarded as a primary laboratory for progressive change in work redesign and self-governance of nursing staff. She is credited with initiating improvements in nursing practice that have significantly enhanced the position and effectiveness of hospital nurses across the country.

Ms. Clifford received the diploma in nursing from the Hospital of St. Raphael School of Nursing in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1956. She subsequently earned the Bachelor of Science from St. Anselm College and the Master of Science from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. She served with the United States Air Force Nurse Corps from 1965 to 1967 and remained with the Reserves until 1976.

Prior to her appointment at Beth Israel Hospital, Ms. Clifford held administrative and academic positions in nursing at the University of Alabama, Boston University, and Indiana University. She is a past president of the American Organization of Nurse Executives.

Joyce C. Clifford served on the national Commission on Nursing under former Secretary of Health and Human Services Otis R. Bowen, and is a consultant to hospitals and schools of nursing in the US, Finland, Norway, Canada, and Japan. Her distinguished leadership has been recognized with numerous honors, including the Award of Honor of the American Hospital Association, the Dorothy Garrigus Founders Award of Sigma Theta Tau International, the honor society for nurses, and honorary degrees from Simmons College and St. Anselm College. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.