Interview: General Clara Adams-Ender on Nurse Leadership

GIFTED Healthcare recently got the incredible opportunity to interview General Clara Adams-Ender, former Chief of the Army Nurse Corps, about nursing leadership.

Mullady Voelker, GIFTED’s President of Growth & Strategy, spoke to General Adams-Ender about what it takes to become a leader, her inspirations to become a nurse, and important moments over the course of her impressive 34-year career in the United States Army.

View the entire interview below!

About General Clara Adams-Ender

General Clara Adams-Ender was born in Willow Spring, North Carolina. While attending North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, she joined the Army Student Nurse Program, which proved to be a launchpad for an incredible nursing and military career spanning 3 decades. She served as an officer in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps from 1961 to 1993, rose to the rank of brigadier general in 1987, and served as chief of the Army Nurse Corps from 1987 to 1991.

Forever furthering her education, General Adams-Ender has earned an MS in Medical Surgical Nursing from the University of Minnesota, as well as a master’s in Military Arts and Sciences and a diploma in Management Relations and Leadership from the Army Command and General Staff College (ACGSC) at Fort Leavenworth, KS.

She has taught at the Medical Training Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing in Washington, D.C., and has worked in supervisory roles at prestigious military academies in the US and abroad.

General Adams-Ender was a trailblazer and consummate leader – among her many accomplishments, she was also the first woman to earn a Master of Military Arts and Sciences from the Army’s Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as well as the first woman in the army to qualify for the Expert Medical Field Badge.

She has received the Legion of Merit award, the United States Army Distinguished Service Medal, and a Meritorious Service Medal, among many others – and in 2019, General Adams-Ender was inducted as a member of the U.S. Army Women’s Hall of Fame.

Upon retiring in 1993 after 34 years of service in the United States Army, General Adams-Ender founded Caring About People With Enthusiasm, a non-profit foundation dedicated to helping students of modest means to complete their education.

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