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Photo of Franck, Gwyneth Rhiannon

Gwyneth Rhiannon Franck, PhD, RN, MPH

Clinical Associate Professor

Director, Midwest Nursing History Research Center

Department of Population Health Nursing Science

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


Building & Room:

948 NURS


845 S. Damen Ave., MC 802, Chicago, IL 60612

Office Phone:

(312) 413-7569


Dr. Gwyneth Franck is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois College of Nursing. She is the Director of the Midwest Nursing History Research Center  (MNHRC) and an Associate Director of the Global Health Leadership Office (GHLO) in the College of Nursing. Her past historical research investigates the role and significance of military nurses during World War I and II, how they were trained, and how they responded to disasters such as the 1918 flu pandemic, or the bombing during Pearl Harbor. As the Director of the MNHRC, she works to provide relevant programming through a nursing history book club and presentations by renowned nurse historians. Additionally, she is committed to expanding and protecting the historical collections within the MNHRC, engaging and elevating underrepresented narratives within nursing history. As an Associate Director of GHLO, Dr. Franck has developed new study abroad opportunities for nursing students, and mentors other faculty to develop additional offerings for students. She also has a continuing area of research around community disaster preparedness in the West Indies.

Dr. Franck teaches in the BSN and DNP program, focusing on topics including social determinants of health, global health, ethics, and research methods. Her clinical areas of expertise are public health, disaster nursing, rural health disparities, and emergency nursing. She continues to maintain a current practice as an emergency department nurse.

Selected Grants

Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Broadening Narratives: Unearthing and Celebrating Black Nurses in Chicago, Co - PI

University of Illinois Presidential Initiative: Expanding the Impact of the Arts and the Humanities, Remembering Black Life in Color: Care, Memory, Community and COVID-19, Co - PI

Emergency Nurses Association Foundation, 50 Years of Advocacy and Advancement, PI

Illinois State Historical Records and Archives Board, Illinois Training School for Nurses Digitization Project, PI

Pritzker Military Museum Foundation, The Army School of Nursing in World War I and U.S. Base Hospitals of WWI: The Chicago Story, PI

University of Virginia Barbara Brodie Nursing History Fellowship, Service and Training: The Army School of Nursing in World War I, PI

Selected Publications

Milbrath G., and Snyder, A. (2021). The Emergency Nurses Association: 50 years of advocacy and advancement. Journal of Emergency Nursing. (In press).

Drzewiecki, D., ^Wavering, H., Milbrath, G., Freeman, V., Lin, J. (2020) The association between educational attainment and resilience to natural hazard-induced disasters in the West Indies: St. Kitts & Nevis. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 47(101637).

Milbrath, G. (2020). The U.S. Army School of Nursing in the 1918 influenza epidemic: Cooperation and collaboration at Camp Grant, Illinois. Health Emergency and Disaster Nursing, 7(1) 32-35.

Milbrath, G. (2019). A new approach to preparing nurses for war: The Army School of Nursing. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 24(3).

Milbrath, G., Snyder, A., Martin, M. (2019). Interdisciplinary disaster preparedness: Study abroad in Saint Kitts and Nevis. Journal of Health Emergency and Disaster Nursing. Advance online publication.

Liehr, P., Sopcheck, J., Milbrath, G. (2016). Remembering Pearl Harbor at 75 years. The American Journal of Nursing116(12), 54-57.

Milbrath, G. (2016). Grace under fire: The Army nurses of Pearl Harbor, 1941. US Army Medical Department Journal, December 2016: 112-117.

Peterson, N. E., Moss, K. O., Milbrath, G., Von Gaudecker, J. R., Park, E., & Chung, M. (2015). Qualitative analysis of student perceptions of bachelor of science-to-doctor of philosophy in nursing programs. Journal of Nursing Education, 54(10), 542-549.

Milbrath, G. & DeGuzman, P. B. (2015). Neighborhood: a conceptual analysis. Public Health Nursing32(4), 349-358.

Snyder, A. & Milbrath, G. (2013). Description of healthcare needs at an episodic clinic in rural southwest Virginia. Rural and Remote Health13(2557), 1-10.

Service to Community

American Association for the History of Nursing

2021 - 2023     Secretary

2018-2020       First Vice President

2018-2020       Chair, Strategic Planning Committee

2017-2018       Member, Membership Task Force

2017 – 2019    Conference Moderator

Notable Honors

2018, 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award, Illinois Nurses’ Foundation

2015, Spurgeon Neel Award, Army Medical Department Museum Foundation


Doctorate of Philosophy, Nursing
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 2017
Dissertation: The nurses of Pearl Harbor, December 1941

Master of Science in Nursing, Public Health Nursing Leadership
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 2014
Clinical Focus: Disaster Nursing and Emergency Preparedness

Master of Science in Public Health, Health Policy, Law, and Administration
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 2014
Thesis: Selecting an early child development tool in rural Limpopo, South Africa

Bachelor of Science in Nursing
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2010

Bachelor of Science, Biomedical Engineering
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 2009

Licensures and Certifications


Illinois              041.460867


Basic Life Support Instructor (BLS)

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)

Trauma Nurse Core Course (TNCC)


2012-2024 Certified Emergency Nurse

Selected Presentations


Milbrath, G. (2020, November). Fulfilling Nightingale’s Legacy of care [Invited keynote speaker]. 2020 International Society of Nurse Geneticist Congress, Virtual due to COVID-19.

Milbrath, G. (2019, November). Historical trajectory and current panorama of Nursing History teaching in the USA [Invited panel]. International Congress for the History of Nursing Teaching, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil.

Milbrath, G. (2019, June). St. Kitts and Nevis Community Disaster Resiliency Assessment [Invited speaker]. Nevis Disaster Management Department, Charlestown, Nevis.

Milbrath, G. & Snyder, S. (2019, May). St. Kitts and Nevis Community Disaster Resiliency Assessment [Invited speaker]. National Emergency Management Agency, Basseterre, St. Kitts.