New Directions in the History of Nursing: International Perspectives

By Barbara Mortimer; Susan McGann | Go to book overview

12

Common working ground

Joan E. Lynaugh

Modern nursing emerged as a distinct entity only during the last 150 years or so in Germany, England, Scandinavia and North America. It became an idea so formidable, and so seemingly inevitable, that nursing now encircles the world. The nursing I speak of is the modern, recognizable, standardized occupation of nursing. In turn, modern nursing rests, however uneasily, on a time-immemorial idea of nursing or mutual aid among humans that seems to date from ancient, even prehistoric, times. Whether modern or ancient, nursing deals with birth and death, health and illness; it is ubiquitous and essential. Those who study the history of nursing have a broad field indeed, and several audiences for their musings.

America's early nurse historian, Lavinia L. Dock, focused in on one of those audiences in 1907. As a determined professionalizer, she saw history as a means and a tool to make nurses self-conscious of their own identity and potential power. She spoke directly to them. 'Only in the light of history can she (the modern nurse) clearly see how closely her own calling is linked with the general conditions of education and of liberty that obtain-as they rise, she rises, and as they sink, she falls'. 1 As historian Sioban Nelson explains so well, Dock and other promulgators of her traditional view and use of history were, indeed, very effective in creating a collective self-image and group identification for the new field. 2

But, encouraged by Nelson's argument, I am more interested in discussing one of the other audiences historians of nursing must consider. That audience is ourselves. An international history of nursing cannot be realized unless there is an international body of scholars. To return once more to an early historian of nursing, let me quote American Adelaide Nutting writing in the International Council of Nurses Bulletin in 1924; 'we must…find somewhere, between the extremes of thought and opinion, the best common working ground'. 3 In this brief essay I consider three elements that I believe are fundamental as we historians think about our own 'common working ground.'

First, it seems to me that certain historical subjects are of universal importance-making them attractive to study and likely to build the field. For now I will suggest eight subject areas from my own experience. No doubt there are many other possibilities that will intrigue scholars.

Next, to build a body of scholarship, we need to be both cognizant of and

-194-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
New Directions in the History of Nursing: International Perspectives
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 207

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.