The former President of the Danish Nurses’ Organization, Kirsten Stallknecht, has passed away

The former President of the Danish Nurses’ Organization, Kirsten Stallknecht, has passed away

Posted on May 5, 2021

The very prominent former President of the Danish Nurses’ Organization, as well as honorary member, Kirsten Stallknecht, passed away on Tuesday the 4th of May 2021 at the age of 83 years.

Kirsten Stallknecht was a prominent leader of the Danish nurses at a time when women in the frontline was not the norm, and she was the nurses’ longest-serving President for almost 29 years. She was elected President of the Danish Nurses’ Organization in 1967 and decided to resign at the end of her seventh term in 1996.

In 1967, Kirsten Stallknecht took over the presidency of a reputable but financially weak professional organization. The following years she succeeded in building a – also in economic terms – strong organization that could make use of the right to strike if the situation demanded it. Kirsten Stallknecht was a driven negotiator with great strategic sense, and she fought for nurses’ conditions.

In her work Kirsten had a focus on education, research, and the history of nursing, and was recognized all over the world for her efforts. We remember her work with the establishment of the Danish Institute for Health and Nursing Research, and engagement in the establishment the Danish Museum of Nursing History.

Kirsten Stallknecht was dedicated throughout her life. The list of positions of trust in the trade union field as well as other important organizations is very long. However, it was first and foremost the love of nursing that was the driving force for Kirsten Stallknecht.

Kirsten Stallknecht was also involved in the fight for nurses’ conditions internationally. She has been at the forefront of Nordic Nurses’ Federation, where she was President from 1989-1995, and she was President of the European Federation of Nurses Associations from 1991-1995. After she left the presidency of the Danish Nurses’ Organization, she became the President of the International Council of Nurses in the years 1997-2001. In 2013, Kirsten Stallknecht was honored as the recipient of the prestigious international Christiane Reimann Prize.

Our sincere condolences go to Kirsten’s family, friends and colleagues in Danish Nurses’ Organization. Thanks for all what you have done to establish EFN.

In memory of Kirsten Stallknecht.