Honoring Professor Emerita Evelyn ‘Ev’ Osborne, One of SU’s First Nursing Graduates
Born in 1926 in Syracuse, Julia Evelyn “Ev” (Starr) Osborne ’47, ’49, G’67, professor emerita of nursing, was one of the first students to enroll in the new Syracuse University School of Nursing, established in 1943 as a response to the rising demand for nurses during wartime. There, she earned her master’s degree and then served as an associate professor for 35 years.
Osborne, who passed away in November 2016, and fellow Syracuse University professor emerita the late Rosemary Lape ’56, G’68, both received Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Faculty Fellowships, which took them to Rochester, New York, in 1977 and 1978, respectively. The fellowship was intended to help more nursing schools offer training in clinical primary care. At this time, nurse practitioners represented just a small fraction of nurses, yet they were starting to take ownership of more and more patient responsibilities while working with physicians.
Osborne, Lape and colleague Barbara “Bobbi” Harris ’61, G’90, Ph.D. ’90 together developed the primary care nurse practitioner program at Syracuse University.
“They did a lot for the School of Nursing,” says Harris, a professor emerita of nursing who explained they hosted health fairs at the University and other places, covering specialized topics as specialists in health assessments. “When [Osborne and Lape] came back,” she adds, “we hosted an alumni get-together in the spring, and those two were the program. They talked about their experience in learning how to do physicals and health assessments.”
For example, in 1981, Osborne and Lape presented “Physical Assessment for the Occupational Health Nurse,” an ongoing program that took place at monthly meetings of the Central New York Association of Occupational Health Nurses, focusing on neurological assessment in the fall and muscular-skeletal assessment in the spring.
During her retirement, Osborne shared her love of the arts with her grandchildren and volunteered at Sunshine Horses, a Syracuse horse rescue facility. Her connection to Syracuse University as both student and faculty will be remembered fondly.