In Memoriam: Elizabeth Tornquist

We are saddened by the news that Elizabeth Tornquist, writing consultant, died on January 30, 2016.  There is probably not a single nursing journal editor who has not felt Elizabeth’s influence, even if we have not been aware of it!   She devoted her life to assisting nurses and other tornquisthealthcare professional to achieve publication.  Her book “From Proposal to Publication: An Informal Guide to Writing About Nursing Research” has been widely used, not only in her own popular workshops and classes, but by many who never met her personally. 

Elizabeth was born in Wilson, North Carolina on January 14, 1933.  She graduated from Duke University in 1954, and made her permanent home in Durham. I recall not long ago meeting her at a small dinner party, and sensed immediately her infectious sense of humor and her contagious enthusiasm for her work with nurses.  The Obituary in the News & Observer profiles her life perfectly:

Elizabeth was a renaissance woman – newspaper writer, grant writer, editor, small business owner and consultant. All the while being a single parent and, later, a totally hands-on grandmother. Elizabeth loved to read, she loved her friends and family. SHE LOVED.

In 2007 Elizabeth was awarded the GE Healthcare-AACN Pioneering Spirit Award.  In their presentation of this award, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses acknowledged the significance of her work in supporting nurses in publishing their insights and knowledge as an editor in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing.  She helped to found the School’s Research Support Center, which resulted in a growth in the School’s research funding from $22,000 in 1985 to over $8 million in 2006.

Indeed, the spirit, essence and work of Elizabeth Tornquist has left a lasting influence.  We extend our deepest sympathy to all of her family, friends, and colleagues who knew her, and share our appreciation for her life well-lived and for her contributions to nursing and nursing literature.


1 thought on “In Memoriam: Elizabeth Tornquist

  1. When I was a freshman (1967-1968) or sophomore (1968-1969) at UNC-CH, I had an English teacher named Elizabeth Tornquist. She was a remarkable woman and an outstanding teacher. Toward the end of the semester, she encouraged me to take a creative writing course the following semester. I didn’t, in large part because I was new to the enrollment process. I have thought of her countless times over the years and wished I would have followed through with her recommendation. I’m wondering if this is the same Elizabeth Tornquist memorialized in this article. Did she teacher undergraduate English? Thank you. Thomas Griffis

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