Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/nclexion/public_html/wp-content/themes/jnews/class/ContentTag.php on line 47
Tributes have been paid to a renowned Northern Irish nurse academic following her sudden death.
Professor Jean Orr, described as a leading voice in nursing in the country, was found dead at her home on Saturday. She was believed to be aged in her mid-70s.
“Professor Orr had superb vision and academic judgement”
Professor Donna Fitzsimons
In 1997, Professor Orr founded the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Belfast’s Queen’s University.
She was the first head of the school and retired in 2008, but she retained close connections with the team.
Professor Donna Fitzsimons, an academic from the university’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “Professor Orr had superb vision and academic judgement, setting up a school that would educate graduate nurses across each of the four fields of nursing and midwifery – making a substantial contribution to healthcare in Northern Ireland.”
In 2004, Professor Orr was awarded with an CBE for her contribution to nursing – especially her work throughout the Troubles.
Professor Orr nursed during the worst years of the conflict, which began in the late 1960s and is thought to have ended with the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
A total of 3,532 people died and more than 47,000 were injured.
She was a patron of the Wave Trauma Centre since 1995, a charity which offers support to victims of the Troubles.
She worked with Wave to establish Northern Ireland’s first degree programme in trauma studies and acted as its chairperson from 2014 to 2018.
The team at the centre described Professor Orr as a woman of “immense vision, commitment and compassion, who worked tirelessly to support victims and survivors of the Troubles”.
Professor Orr also co-authored a book titled Nurses’ Voices from the Northern Ireland Troubles with her colleague Margaret Graham that was published by the Royal College of Nursing.
“Jean Orr was an important figure in nursing”
The book consists of personal accounts from health professionals who cared for people during this violent period of Northern Ireland’s history.
Originally from Belfast’s Ormeau area, Professor Orr worked in the UK as a health visitor before becoming a lecturer at the University of Manchester.
In April 2019, she was honoured with a portrait unveiled at Queen’s University for the Great Hall Portrait collection.
Charlotte McArdle, Northern Ireland’s chief nursing officer, paid tribute on Twitter.
She wrote: “[I’m] very sorry to hear of the death of Professor Jean Orr previously head of nursing school @QUBSONM and supervisor a long time ago of my MSc dissertation.”
Emeritus nursing professor June Girvin added: “Sad to hear this. Jean Orr was an important figure in nursing and I hope she will be suitably commemorated.”