Nursing Profession Mourns the Loss of a Great Leader

Robert Victor Piemonte, EdD, RN, CAE, FAAN, a highly esteemed professional leader and former Executive Director of the National Student Nurses' Association, succumbed to the coronavirus on April 21, 2020.

Dr. Piemonte, born in 1934, graduated from Pilgrim State Hospital School of Nursing and earned the Bachelor of Science Degree at Long Island University and Master of Arts, Master of Education and Doctorate of Education degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University.

One of 12 siblings, he is survived by one sister, Adele Grossi, of Medford, NY and numerous nieces and nephews.

He held many elected leadership positions in professional organizations including the presidency of: American Nurses Foundation, New York Society of Association Executives, Nurses Association of the Counties of Long Island (District 14), New York State Nurses Association; and Nurses House.

He served as Assistant Director of Nursing at NYU Medical Center; Director of Nursing, Gouveneur Hospital in New York City; and Chief Nurse, US Army 8th Medical Unit. The major focus of his professional career was nursing organizations. He served as the Executive Director of the New Jersey State Nurses Association; American Nurses Association as Director, Nursing Services Department; and as Director of House, Board and Cabinet Affairs. In 1985 Dr. Piemonte was appointed as Executive Director of the National Student Nurses Association, a position from which he retired in 1996.

Dr. Piemonte’s commitment to excellence in the profession and tireless, pervasive professional leadership were recognized in such awards as: Teachers College Nursing Education R. Louise McManus Medal; National Student Nurses Association Honorary Member; the New York State Nurses Association Honorary Recognition Award; the Foundation of New York Nurses Driscoll Award; and the Nurses House Dolphin Award. In 2008, Dr. Piemonte received the designation as a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing and, in 2014, he was inducted into the American Nurses Association Hall of Fame, considered to be the highest honor in the nursing profession. 

Dr. Piemonte was devoted to mentoring and encouraging nurse colleagues and students. As the Executive Director of the National Student Nurses Association, he said, “I saw the need for the pre-professional organization to prepare its members for leadership roles in the professional nursing organizations.”1 His cousin, Phyllis Yezzo, DNP, RN, in thanking colleagues for their condolences, said, “He was the anchor of the family and a champion for the Nursing family.”2 Countless colleagues credit him with advancing their careers and professional development. He will be sorely missed but his legacy of extraordinary leadership will continue to advance his beloved profession.

The Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association has established the Dr. Robert V. Piemonte Memorial Scholarship for donations to honor him. 

Donations may be mailed to Foundation of NSNA, 45 Main St., Brooklyn, NY 11201 or made via the FNSNA website.

A funeral mass and memorial service will be planned at a later date. Condolences may be made at the following website:

1”Spotlight on Robert V. Piemonte,” NEAA Courier, Spring, 2009, #97, pg.2.
2 “Email Re: Sad News: Robert Piemonte,” April 22. 2020
Source: Cathryne A. Welch, EdD, RN, Foundation of New York State Nurses, Retired.



Diane Mancino, EdD, RN, CAE, FAAN
Executive Director
National Student Nurses' Association
[email protected]