Contributors: Diane Mancino and Dorothy Jones
Robert V. Piemonte, EdD, RN, CAE, FAAN, a highly esteemed professional leader and former Executive Director of the National Student Nurses Association, succumbed to the coronavirus on April 21, 2020. Dr. Piemonte, born in 1934 was one of 12 siblings and is survived by one sister, Adele Grossi, of Medford, NY and numerous nieces and nephews. His sister passed away in December 2020.
Bob graduated from Pilgrim State Hospital School of Nursing and earned the Bachelor of Science Degree at Long Island University. He later received a Master of Arts, a Master of Education and a Doctorate of Nursing Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. It was at Teachers College that Bob formed a lifetime friendship with other emerging AAN leaders including Dr. Margaret McClure, Dr Louise Fitzpatrick and Dr. Muriel Poulin (A Nursology 2020 Guardian of the Discipline) as well as Dr Joyce Clifford, Dr Lucille Joel and others. Each of these individual contributed significantly to the growth of nursing leadership in education, clinical practice and international organizations. To simply observe this group in action was to witness innovation, creativity, tolerance only for the best of wat nursing was and could be, and their joy in being with others they respected and valued.
Bob Piemonte held many elected leadership positions in professional organizations including the presidency of: American Nurses Foundation, New York Society of Association Executives, Nurses Association of the Counties of Long Island (District 14), New York State Nurses Association; and Nurses House. He served as Assistant Director of Nursing at NYU Medical Center, Director of Nursing at NYC Health and Hospitals/Gouverneur Hospital and Chief Nurse, US Army 8th Medical Unit.
The major focus of Bob’s professional career was nursing organizations. In this capacity he served as the Executive Director of the New Jersey State Nurses Association; American Nurses Association as Director, Nursing Services Department; and as Director of House, Board and Cabinet Affairs.
In 1985 Dr. Piemonte was appointed as Executive Director of the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA), a position from which he retired in 1996. As the Executive Director of the NSNA Student Bob once said, “I saw the need for the pre-professional organization to prepare its members for leadership roles in the professional nursing organizations.”1 His dedication and commitment to student nurses across the United States promoted student leadership within SNA’s (Student Nurses Associations) at the local, state, and national level, fostered professional commitment to addressing contemporary and national issues affecting the discipline and health care and enhanced socialization, mentoring and future collaborations for students as they advanced their professional career.
Dr. Piemonte’s commitment to excellence in the profession, and tireless, pervasive professional leadership were recognized in such awards as: the Teachers College Nursing Education R. Louise McManus Medal; the National Student Nurses Association Honorary Member; the New York State Nurses Association Honorary Recognition Award; the Foundation of New York Nurses Driscoll Award; and the Nurses House Dolphin Award. In 2008, Dr. Piemonte received the designation of Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing and, in 2014, he was inducted into the American Nurses Association Hall of Fame, considered to be the highest honor in the nursing profession.
Dr. Piemonte was devoted to mentoring and encouraging nursing colleagues and students. His cousin, Phyllis Yezzo, DNP, RN, in thanking colleagues for their condolences, said, “He was the anchor of the family and a champion for the Nursing family.”2 Countless colleagues credit him with advancing their careers and professional development. He will be sorely missed but his legacy of extraordinary leadership will continue to advance his beloved profession.
A funeral mass and memorial service is planned in NYC at a later date. Condolences may be made at the following website: http://www.folsomfuneral.com/?p=9085
The Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association has established the Dr. Robert V. Piemonte Memorial Scholarship for donations to honor him. Donations may be mailed to Foundation of NSNA, 45 Main St., Brooklyn, NY 11201 or made via the FNSNA website
1”Spotlight on Robert V. Piemonte,” NEAA Courier, spring, 2009, #97, pg.2.
2 “Email Re: Sad News: Robert Piemonte,” April 22. 2020
Source: Cathryne A. Welch, EdD, RN, Foundation of New York State Nurses, Retired.
- Photos provided by Diane Mancino