Rozella May Schlotfeldt


School of Nursing Special Recognition Award (1982)
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
School of Nursing


Rozella May Schlotfeldt, PhD, RN, FAAN, was the dean emerita at Case Western University Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing from 1960 to 1972. She was appointed as the Visiting Professor of Nursing and Interim Executive Director of Midwest Alliance in Nursing, School of Nursing, for the period September 8, 1979 to June 30, 1980 at Indiana University.

Dr. Schlofeldt attended University of Iowa, graduating in 1935 with a bachelor's degree in nursing. She became a maternity staff nurse at the University of Iowa Hospitals after graduation, but shortly left to join the U.S. Veterans Hospital in Des Moines, IA as a staff nurse. Dr. Schlofeldt would eventually become the head nurse at the hospital, but left in 1939 to return to University of Iowa as an instructor of maternity nursing. During World War II, she entered military service in the Army Nurse Corps and was sent to serve in England, France, and Austria.

After the war, Dr. Schlofeldt enrolled in the nursing graduate program at the University of Chicago, graduating in 1947. Her first assistant professor position was at the University of Colorado School of Nursing in the late 1940s. Next, she taught at the College of Nursing at Wayne State University in Detroit until 1955. Dr. Schlofeldt decided to resign her position that year so she could return to University of Chicago to obtain her PhD. During her time as dean, she developed a new model for nursing education that integrated clinical teaching, research, and practice responsibilities of faculty. Her plan
redefined nursing's conceptual paradigm, i.e. "nursing is the appraisal and enhancement of the health status, health assets, and health potential of human beings and the preservation of the dignity appropriate to their humanity." In 1964, she served on a national task force committee that developed the 1964 Nurse Training Act, which provided nurses with financial assistance for advanced education. Dr Schlofeldt then implemented the doctoral degree of nursing, which was a significant point in the history of nursing education. She retired in 1972 and remained a professor emeritus and dean emeritus.

During her academic career, Dr. Schlotfeldt has held various national positions such as special consultant to the surgeon General's Advisory Group on Nursing (1961-1963) and the Walter Reed Army Institute for Nursing Research (1967-1974). In addition, she has served as president of the Ohio Board of Nursing Education and Nurse Registration (1971-1972); on the American Nurses Association Study Committee on Credentializing in Nursing; and on the governing council of the American Academy of Nursing. She was honored with the Special Recognition Award by Indiana University School of Nursing in 1982.

Dr. Schlofeldt passed away in Cleveland on July 23, 2005 at the age of 91.