Judith S. RonaldProfessor Emerita
School of Nursing
Years at UB: 1968-1998
Judith S. Ronald, a pioneer in Nursing Informatics, began her career at the University at Buffalo shortly after completing her masters degree in 1968. Her 1982 dissertation, Attitudes and Learning Needs of Nursing Educators with Respect to Computers: Implications for Curriculum Planning, focused on how technology could advance the field of nursing.
Ronald's interest in this field began in 1968 when she became involved in a UB research project entitled "Systematic Nursing Assessment: A Step Toward Automation." The Project, developing electronic-ready nursing assessment tools for hospitalized patients from admission through discharge, was completed without a single computer at the group's disposal.
In 1977, Ronald developed the first course on the application of the computer in nursing. The course, "Implications of Computer Technology for Nursing," covered everything from the emerging computer trends to the ethics surrounding the use of computers. A textbook for the field wasn't developed until 1984. The next year the National League for Nursing (NLN) created the National Forum on Computers in Nursing and Health Care. In 1987 Ronald co-authored the monograph, Guidelines for Basic Computer Education in Nursing published by the NLN.
Often recognized for her contributions, Ronald received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1979. She was named a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 1994.
Due to a large part Ronald's early efforts, informatics is today integrated throughout the nursing curriculum, increasingly important as technology has been integrated into all of the health care professions.