Air Force Executive Nurse Leadership Impact: Brigadier General Diann Hale O'Connor, Air Force Nurse Corps Chief From 1982 to 1985

Vickie Hughes, Sotera Chow, Eleni Doukakis Flanagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: In the 1980s, nurses became more recognized as interprofessional healthcare partners who actively participated in the advancement of patient care and the nursing profession. There is a significant gap in the nursing literature about the significant contributions of executive military nurse leaders. The purpose of the interview with Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Hale O'Connor was to explore the personal stories, experiences, leadership strategies, lessons learned, and impact of her leadership on the future development of nursing as a profession. Methods: The oral history method provided a framework for the interview and the analysis. In compliance with the Oral History Association guidelines, the primary investigator obtained Institutional Review Board permission, participant informed consent, and an audiotaped interview. A graduate research assistant transcribed the 3-hour audiotaped interview verbatim. The participant reviewed the transcription, provided clarification, and validated accuracy. Three independent coders extracted prevalent themes and subthemes during analysis. Researchers compared findings and reached a consensus when resolving minor discrepancies. Results: Two broad thematic qualities, commitment to duty and fairness, emerged from the data with their respective subthemes. Subthemes of trust, patriotism, loyalty, and assiduousness supported the main theme of commitment to duty. Pillars of alignment, equality, and advocacy supported the broad theme of fairness. Conclusion: Although the team did not use the Reina Trust Model as a framework, the trust-building behaviors emerged from the transcribed interview during the analysis. Surprisingly, many of the leadership strategies utilized by Brig Gen Hale O'Connor fit well into the Reina Trust Model, published 25 years following O'Connor's tenure as Chief, Air Force Nurse Corps. In addition, several of Brig Gen Hale O'Connor's leadership accomplishments are still relevant today, solidifying the observation that the foresight of Brig Gen Hale O'Connor was fundamental to the advancement of nursing during her tenure and for those who followed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E480-E485
JournalMilitary medicine
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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