It is with sadness that Bloomberg Nursing shares the passing of 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award winner Dr. June F. Kikuchi (Class of 6T2). She passed away on September 6, 2014, after a short battle with acute myeloid leukemia.
Dr. Kikuchi was truly a nurse leader, devoting her life and career to advancement of the nursing profession, especially in the area of the philosophy of nursing. After earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at U of T in 1962, she worked as a public health nurse with the Victorian Order of Nurses before becoming a Staff Nurse at the Hospital for Sick Children, now SickKids. Upon earning her Master of Nursing in 1969, and her PhD in 1979, Dr. Kikuchi began teaching at the University of Alberta, coordinating a graduate level course in the philosophy of nursing. Bloomberg Nursing Associate Dean Academic Ann Tourangeau was one of Dr. Kikuchi’s students:
“Dr. Kikuchi challenged me to think about the world, nursing, nursing science, and my own principles and values. Years after taking her courses, Dr. Kikuchi kept in touch, forwarding articles and books that she felt were pertinent to my research,” Tourangeau says. “She leaves a great legacy and will be missed by myself and so many others.”
Dr. Kikuchi was an internationally renowned scholar in the philosophy of nursing. After completing a year of post-doctoral philosophy studies at U of T in 1986, she established the first Institute for Philosophic Nursing Research in the world at the University of Alberta in 1988. It was there where she, along with Dr. Helen Simmons of Edmonton Public Health, undertook a series of conferences entitled “Philosophy in the Nurses’ World.” Participants included scholars from around the world, forming an international panel of thinkers and researchers to fuel debate. The conferences continue to contribute to the field of nursing philosophy, as recently as May of this year.
The contributions of Dr. Kikuchi to the development of this vital area of nursing is unsurpassed among nursing scholars in Canada. She achieved incredible distinction throughout her career through her influence on students, faculty members and colleagues in Canada. Dr. Kikuchi truly embodied the spirit of her distinguished Alumnus Award – a person of outstanding achievement whose noteworthy activity has been recognized in the field; contributed to the health system with the highest principles of the health care professions; and who served as a role model for current and future health care professionals. Her works will continue to influence the thinking of colleagues, nursing students, and many more to consider the questions of importance in nursing care.