The forms of institutionalized education or schooling preparatory for the practice of nursing in American society is the topic developed in this paper. It is my conviction that the form and the level at which education for nursing is offered, as well as the quality of the education, contributes to defining what nurses are able to do in nursing practice. The subject of levels of education and practice in nursing can be considered from the historical and comparative perspective, or from a combined nursing and educational perspective. The latter approach has been chosen because it serves to bring attention to norms and trends from the field of occupational education and their applicability to nursing education.
Preliminary attention is given to the question: What programs of nursing education are legitimate in American society? This is an important question, for the answer to it should be seen as an influencing force in the determination of which of the existent programs will continue, which are likely to go out of existence, and, finally, what types of programs are likely to be or should be introduced.
This paper was first presented to the Alumnae Association of the Johns Hopkins Hospital School
of Nursing, October 12, 1968.