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Rose Pinneo Papers

Identifier: 2022-062

Scope and Contents

This small but noteworthy collection centers on Pinneo's work at the Presbyterian-University of Pennsylvania Hospital Coronary Care Unit, 1963-1967. The bulk of the material concerns the grant-funded study undertaken during these years: "Intensive Nursing Care in Acute Myocardial Infarction," and includes research design materials, data sheets, analytical essays, and a draft report. Numerous publications and talk/presentation scripts by Pinneo concern coronary nursing. Some publications by her physician colleagues are also included, along with a photographic collection.

In addition to Pinneo's materials are research notes and interview transcripts of Pinneo and others, produced by Dr. Arlene W. Keeling in preparation for her journal article, "Blurring the Boundaries Between Medicine and Nursing: Coronary Care Nursing, circa the 1960s," Nursing History Review 12 (2004): 139-164.


  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1963-1967

Biographical / Historical

Rose Pinneo (1920-2008), R.N., M.S., was an associate professor of nursing at the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, with special expertise in cardiovascular nursing. She obtained a B.A. degree in Biology, cum laude, from Maryville College, Maryville, Tennessee, in 1943, and a diploma in Nursing from The Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing in 1946. After serving for two years as head nurse of a specialized surgical unit at Hopkins, she moved to the Philadelphia area, where she worked for almost two decades before taking the professorship at Rochester. Pinneo's career in academic nursing began at the West Jersey Hospital School of Nursing in 1950, as Instructor and Assistant Educational Director. After ten years at this post in Camden, New Jersey, Pinneo transferred to the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, where in addition to her responsibilities as an Instructor of Medical-Surgical Nursing, she earned a Masters of Science degree in Education, with a Nursing major.

It was at the University of Pennsylvania that Pinneo undertook the ground-breaking work highlighted in this collection of her papers. In 1963, she joined cardiologist Dr. Lawrence Meltzer as Associate Director of the newly-formed Coronary Care Unit at the Presbyterian-U.Penn. Hospital. The Penn CCU was among the first established in the nation, and occupied the vanguard of a new method of nursing care, organized collaboratively with senior physicians and house staff. Specialized nurses worked autonomously to monitor, diagnose, and treat ventricular arrhythmias in patients suffering from myocardial infarctions. In her position as Director of Nursing and Co-Director of Research for the CCU, Pinneo trained these specialty nurses, and undertook with Meltzer a multi-year study of all aspects of CCU operations, including analysis of the increased responsibilities of nursing staff. The results indicated both a reduction in patient mortality and definitive success in the expansion and professionalization of nursing practice, relative to the traditional – and limited -- conception of nursing roles until that time. Pinneo co-authored Intensive Coronary Care: a Manual for Nurses with Meltzer and another physician colleague in 1965, reprinted for nearly twenty years. She continued to speak and publish extensively on coronary care nursing until her retirement in 1985.


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Language of Materials



(1920–2008) Noteworthy collection on the early development of coronary care nursing, centering on a grant-funded study of coronary care nursing at Presbyterian-University of Pennsylvania Hospital Coronary Care Unit, 1963 to 1967. Includes research design, data sheets, analytical reports, and publications. Interview transcripts of Pineo by Dr. Arlene Keeling.


The folders containing Pinneo's curriculum vitae and correspondence begin the collection, followed by the CCU study materials, publications by Pinneo and others, presentations, and photographs. Subsequent to these are Arleen Keeling's research materials. Items within folders are arranged chronologically.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry Repository

University of Virginia School of Nursing
P.O. Box 800782
Charlottesville Virginia 22908-0782 United States