In Memoriam: Patricia Ryan Wahl, professor emeritus, former director, SDSU School of Nursing

January 25, 2024

Patricia Ryan Wahl, professor emeritus and former director of SDSU’s School of Nursing, has died at the age of 89. 

 Her daughter, Tiffany Wahl, said in a memorial tribute that her mother was “true to form–bright and funny just days before her death,” despite her health struggles with Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia.

Wahl earned her RN, BSN, MSN, and PhD in Nursing prior to her sixteen-year tenure at the School of Nursing from 1990-2006.   During her accomplished career, she received multiple awards– including becoming a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. 

When she retired on May 10, 2006, the City of San Diego proclaimed the date as Patricia Wahl Day.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Patricia Wahl,” said Karen Macauley, director of SDSU’s School of Nursing. “Her dedication and achievements in advancing nursing and clinical education continue to be a positive influence for our programs and local communities.”  

 Wahl was instrumental in creating and launching San Diego’s Nurses Now– the faculty-expanding partnership that links many local hospitals and healthcare organizations to student nurse education and clinical experience.  The program resulted in a 70 percent increase in SDSU’s nursing program enrollment in just a few years following the 2000 launch of the organization.

Patricia Wahl’s death was preceded by the passing of her husband, Benjamin Wahl.  She is survived by many friends, colleagues, and family members, including her three daughters, who were at their mother’s side when she passed away.   Wahl was laid to rest last November at the Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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