Marlene Kramer

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Marlene Kramer
Nationality American
Alma mater St. Louis University
Occupation Nurse, author
Known for Reality Shock: Why Nurses Leave Nursing

Marlene F. Kramer is an American nurse, educator and author. She wrote a 1974 book, Reality Shock: Why Nurses Leave Nursing, which examined burnout in the nursing profession. Her book has been widely cited in subsequent studies on retention and satisfaction within nursing.


Marlene Kramer received an undergraduate degree in nursing from St. Louis University in 1953. She completed a master of science in nursing at Case Western Reserve University in 1958 and a PhD in sociology and education at Stanford University in 1966.[1]

Several years after completing the doctorate, Kramer taught at the University of California, San Francisco. Kramer left UCSF to become dean at the University of Connecticut in 1979.[2] In 1983, while still serving as dean at Connecticut, Kramer filed a libel lawsuit against seven of the university's nursing faculty members and the director of the faculty union. The faculty members had previously submitted complaints to the university alleging that Kramer plagiarized material and mismanaged the department.[3] Kramer remained at UConn until 1987.[4]

Kramer developed the concept of reality shock while studying the retention of new nurses. She identified role conflict as a major stressor for new nurses as they struggled to balance the needs of each patient with the pressures and responsibilities imposed by the work setting.[5]

In 2007, Kramer earned the Living Legend designation from the American Academy of Nursing.[6] A University of Connecticut alumni award for nursing research is named after Kramer.[7] The Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses awarded the 2012 Anthony J. Jannetti Award, its highest honor, to Kramer.[8]

Selected works[edit]


  • Kramer, Marlene (1974). Reality Shock: Why Nurses Leave Nursing.

Journal articles[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Speaker's Profile: Marlene Kramer, PhD, RN, FAAN". Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Kramer Named". The Morning Record and Journal. June 14, 1979. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ Collins, David (September 1, 1983). "Nursing School Dean at UConn Files Libel Suit Against Faculty". The Day. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ "First 50 Years of UConn SON". University of Connecticut. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  5. ^ Halfer, Diana and Elaine Graf (2006). "Graduate Nurse Perceptions of the Work Experience". Nursing Economics. 24 (3): 150–155. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  6. ^ "American Academy of Nursing Honors AACN Members". AACN News. via HighBeam (subscription required). April 1, 2007. 
  7. ^ "UConn School of Nursing Honors Five Alumni for Nursing Excellence" (PDF). University of Connecticut. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Med/surg Academy Honors Arizona Nurse for Healthcare Contributions". Retrieved June 5, 2013.