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Virginia M. Ohlson, PhD, RN, died of natural causes on April 10, at the age of 95. Born in Chicago, Dr. Ohlson devoted her life to providing professional nursing education around the world, most notably in postwar Japan, where she was employed as a civilian nurse by the U.S. Army and assigned to the Public Health and Welfare Section of General Douglas MacArthur's headquarters. There Ohlson and other American nurses worked with Japanese nurses to reestablish nursing education and practice in Japan. She was appointed chief nurse of the section in 1949 and later became director of nursing for the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission in Hiroshima, which studied the effects of radiation on the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Following the signing of the Japanese Peace Treaty, Ohlson returned to Tokyo in 1953 to become the Rockefeller Foundation's nurse representative in Japan, working toward the accreditation of nursing schools and the development of systems for licensing nurses. Ohlson returned to the United States the following year, and in 1963 was named associate professor and director of public health nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago's College of Nursing. In 1970 she became the first head of the college's Department of Public Health Nursing, and in 1980, was named assistant dean and director of the Office for International Studies, which attracted nursing students worldwide. In 1991 Ohlson became the first non-Japanese citizen to be awarded by the emperor the Prestigious Butterfly, the Third Order of the Precious Crown.

Figure. Virginia M. ... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Virginia M. Ohlson, 1914-2010