Nurse Leaders of Idaho

Phyllis Sheridan, Former Executive Director of Idaho Board of Nursing Dies at Age 96

Posted 12 days ago by Randall Hudspeth, PhD, MBA, MS, APRN

Phyllis Sheridan, a former Executive Director of the Idaho Board of Nursing from 1976 until her retirement in 1990, died at home in Boise at age 96.

Phyllis was born Dec. 9, 1924, in Omaha, NE, the youngest of three children born to Myrtle and Carleton Taylor. She graduated from the Univ. of Nebraska in 1946 with a BS in Nursing and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation, she was employed briefly at the University Hospital in Omaha and then accepted a faculty position at the Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing in Portland, OR. In 1951, she enlisted in the Air Force Nurse Corps. with a commission as First Lieutenant. She was then stationed @ Walker Air Force Base in Roswell, NM and completed flight nurse school. She then transferred to Lakenheath Air Base, England. 

Throughout the years of raising her family Phyllis worked in a variety of nursing positions. Phyllis was a passionate nurse and nurse leader, continuously advancing throughout her career. She worked as Assistant Director of the Sinai School of Nursing in Maryland. In 1973, she moved to Phoenix, AZ, where she was the Nursing Education Consultant for the Arizona State Board of Nursing. She moved to Boise in 1975, where she became the Nursing Educational Consultant for the Idaho Board of Nursing. In 1976, she was promoted to Executive Director, and held that position until her retirement in 1990.

During her years with the Board of Nursing, many significant improvements were developed and implemented, including the Program for Recovering Nurses and the Alternative to Discipline Program.

She served on the Board of Directors for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) as First Vice President and as Western Area Representative.  Phyllis served as the chairperson of the Examination Committee, and with her guidance the national state board test pool exams were retired and the NCLEX emerged.  The NCLEX is the nurse licensure examination used throughout the United States today.

Phyllis was a lover of the outdoors and an avid hiker, having climbed Mt. Hood, and later scaled Mt. Vanderwhacker and Mt. Algonquin in the Adirondacks with four of her young sons. She enjoyed traveling, and visited every state, as well as Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Finland, Thailand, and 5 republics of the former Soviet Union, Russia. In her retirement, she developed a passion for yoga and continued to practice twice weekly until the age of 95.

Phyllis was very active in the Catholic church. She served as lector, Eucharistic Minister, advocate for the Marriage Tribunal, and served on various committees over the years.

Phyllis is survived by her five children and their spouses, Philip & Marika, Paul & Koreen, Dan & Mary, Chris & Kirsten and Shauna & Dave. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, Don and Larry, and her second son, Patrick.

A mass in her honor will be celebrated at Our Lady of The Rosary Catholic Church, 11 AM Friday September 10th.


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