Title History of Professional Nursing in the United States
Subtitle Toward a Culture of Health
Author Arlene W. Keeling, John C. Kirchgessner, Michelle C. Hehman
ISBN 9780826133120
List price USD 85.00
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 416
Book size 216 x 279 mm
Publishing year 2018
Original publisher Springer Publishing Company
Published in India by Springer Publishing Company
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Sales territory Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Status New Arrival
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For over 400 years, a diverse array of nurses, nurses’ aides, midwives, and public-minded citizens across the United States have attended to the health care of America’s equally diverse populations. Beginning in 1607 when the first Englishmen landed in Virginia, and concluding in 2016 when Flint, Michigan, was declared to be in a state of emergency, this expansive nursing history text for undergraduate and graduate nursing programs examines the history of the nursing profession to help the reader better understand how nursing became what it is today.

Grounded in the premise that health care can and should be promoted in partnership with communities to provide quality care for all, this history analyzes the resilience and innovation of nurses who provided care for the most underprivileged populations, such as slaves on Southern plantations, immigrants in tenements in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and isolated populations in rural Kentucky. It takes into account issues of race, class, and gender, and the influence of these factors on nurses and patients.

Featuring nearly 300 photos, oral histories, and personal accounts from varied settings in the United States and other countries, the narrative discusses major medical and scientific advances, prominent leaders and grassroots movements in nursing, and ethical dilemmas that nurses faced with each change in the profession. Chapters include discussion questions for class sessions as well as a list of suggested reading.


Examines the history of nursing during the past four centuries

Links challenges for nurses in the past to those of present-day nurses

Includes oral histories, medical discoveries, legal and ethical issues, personal perspectives, archival sites, discussion questions, suggested reading, and abundant notes

Covers drugs, technological innovations, and scientific advances in each era


Foreword by Barbra Mann Wall, PhD, RN, FAAN



Share History of Professional Nursing in the United States: Toward a Culture of Health

Chapter 1. Nursing in the Colonial Era and Early Days of the United States, 1607–1840 (John C. Kirchgessner)

Chapter 2. The Roots of a Profession, 1830–1865 (Arlene W. Keeling)

Chapter 3. The Rise of a Profession: “An Art and a Science,” 1873–1901 (Michelle C. Hehman)

Chapter 4. Visiting Nurses in Cities, Parishes, and Missions, 1886–1914 (Arlene W. Keeling)

Chapter 5. Professional Organizations and International Connections, 1881–1920 (Michelle C. Hehman)

Chapter 6. Organization and Innovation in the Early 20th Century, 1898–1928 (Arlene W. Keeling)

Chapter 7. Nurses, Science, and the Growth of Hospitals, 1910–1930 (Michelle C. Hehman)

Chapter 8. Nurses in the News: The Great War and Pandemic Influenza, 1914–1919 (Arlene W. Keeling)

Chapter 9. Nurses, Babies, and Public Health, 1920s (Arlene W. Keeling)

Chapter 10. Nursing in the Great Depression, 1930–1940 (Arlene W. Keeling)

Chapter 11. Nursing in World War II: Overseas and at Home, 1940–1945 (Arlene W. Keeling)

Chapter 12. Mid-Century Transitions and Shortages, 1945–1960 (John C. Kirchgessner)

Chapter 13. Specialization, War, and the Expansion of Nursing’s Scope of Practice, 1961–1980
(Arlene W. Keeling)

Chapter 14. Caring in Crisis, 1980–2000 (Michelle C. Hehman)

Chapter 15. Toward a Culture of Health: Nursing in the 21st Century (Arlene W. Keeling)


About the Authors:

Arlene W. Keeling, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the Centennial Distinguished Professor of nursing at the University of Virginia School of Nursing, and associate director of the Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry. Formerly, she served as the director of the center. Dr. Keeling is the author of numerous articles on nursing history. She wrote Nursing and the Privilege of Prescription, 1893–2000, a book that was recognized by the American Association for the History of Nursing (AAHN) with the Lavinia L. Dock Award. She has coauthored and edited several other books, including Rooted in the Mountains, Reaching to the World: A History of the Frontier School of Nursing, 1939–1989, which received the 2012 American Journal of Nursing’s Book of the Year Award for Public Interest and Creative Works, and Nurses on the Front Line: A History of Disaster Nursing 1879 to 2005, which received the 2012 Mary Roberts Book Award from the AAHN. She has recently completed three other books: The Nurses of Mayo Clinic; Nursing Rural America: Perspectives From the Early 20th Century, in collaboration with John Kirchgessner; and Nurses and Disasters: A Global Historical Perspective, in collaboration with Dr. Barbra Wall. In 2016, Nurses and Disasters received AAHN’s Mary Roberts Award for an edited book. Dr. Keeling is past president of the AAHN, and past cochair of the expert panel on Nursing History and Health Policy for the American Academy of Nursing.

Michelle C. Hehman, PhD, RN, is a nurse historian and center associate for the Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry at the University of Virginia. Dr. Hehman’s research has focused on the intersection of ethics and technology in early 20th-century nursing. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, where she was a 4-year scholarship athlete and team captain of the 2001 Division I National Champion Women’s Volleyball team. While completing her master’s degree at DePaul University, she was class valedictorian. Most recently she received her PhD from the University of Virginia. Her dissertation research received the Phyllis J. Verhonick Award from the University of Virginia School of Nursing, and the Theresa A. Christy Award from the American Association for the History of Nursing. She is also a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and the Golden Key International Honor Society. Dr. Hehman has been working as a neonatal intensive care nurse for the past 10 years.

John C. Kirchgessner, PhD, RN, is a nurse historian whose research has focused on the nursing profession during the first half of the 20th century. His research explores the relationship between nurses and industry, specifically the work of nurses and the care they provided to West Virginia coal miners and their families. He has written and presented extensively on the West Virginia Miners Hospitals, the 1907 Monongah mine disaster, and public health in coal mining towns during the 1930s and 1940s. In addition, Dr. Kirchgessner has investigated how hospitals’ nursing departments during the mid-20th century were often income generators for their perspective institutions and not the cost centers hospital administrators traditionally claimed. His research has been presented at international and national research meetings. He is an associate professor of nursing at St. John Fisher College Wegmans School of Nursing in Rochester, New York, and assistant director of the Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry at the University of Virginia. Dr. Kirchgessner coauthored The Voice of Professional Nursing Education: A 40-Year History of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, has written book chapters, and has published in refereed journals. His most recent book, coauthored with Arlene Keeling, is Nursing Rural America: Perspectives From the Early 20th Century.

Target Audience:

Useful for students of undergraduate and graduate nursing programs.


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