Honoring A Living Legacy

Irashel P. Fitzgerald, MN ’73, the 2014 recipient of the Dean’s Living Legacy Award, passed away on Monday, July 28.Fitzgerald

Irashel was selected as one of the 60 Alumni who made a difference in 2009 when the School celebrated its 60th Anniversary. In 2014, Irashel was honored at the School of Nursing commencement with the Dean’s Living Legacy award. Her son Fred and her granddaughter were at the ceremony to receive the award on her behalf.

Irashel graduated from the UCLA School of Nursing in 1973 with a Masters in Nursing. In the early 1970s, Fitzgerald was involved in developing and implementing pediatric nurse practitioner programs for 11 health districts of Los Angeles County, as well as maintaining her own weekly pediatric nurse practitioner clinic. She was a founding member of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners and served as a member of the American Nurses Association committee that established the first pediatric nurse practitioner examination. Fitzgerald later spent 12 years with the Los Angeles County Probation Health Services Department as an assistant administrator to three detention and 13 camp youth facilities in operations functions of payroll, personnel, procurement, plan, and policy for the San Fernando Valley Juvenile Health Infirmary. Since 1990 Fitzgerald has worked as a consultant, including as principal writer for the Cameroon, African Association of University Women’s AIDS Project.

Along with her dedication to the profession of nursing, Fitzgerald has continued to stay involved with the UCLA School of Nursing. She sat on the Dean’s Advisory Board when Marie Cowan was Dean. And to this day, Fitzgerald takes time to mentor all of the School of Nursing African American students and proudly attends the Pan African Nursing Student and Alumni Association (PANSAA) Commencement celebration.