North Carolina Nursing History Website

By Gibson, Mary E. | Nursing History Review, January 1, 2013 | Go to article overview
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North Carolina Nursing History Website


Gibson, Mary E., Nursing History Review


North Carolina Nursing History Website. 2012. Sponsored by Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina. Project Head: Phoebe A. Pollitt. Project Team: Marilia Antunez, Paul Orkiszewski, Kevin Clark, and Andie Leonard. Webmaster: James Smith. http://nursinghistory.appstate.edu/

The North Carolina Nursing History website, designed to provide an online resource sharing the history and heritage of organized nursing in North Carolina, is directed to a wide-ranging audience, including students, the general public interested in nursing history, as well as academics and researchers. The site aims to provide (digitized) primary documents in an engaging format. Indeed, the site offers an extensive and broad view of North Carolina nursing in a clear, easily navigable and searchable format. The site focuses on individual nurses, hospitals, public health sites and initiatives, and schools of nursing throughout the state. Links are provided to selected external sites and finding aids that add further detail to the materials presented. A highlighted UNC-TV documentary, North Carolina Nurses: A Century of Caring, available on the site, suggests that the centennial of the North Carolina Nurses Association (2002) spurred its creation.

The site is divided into five main sections via a dropdown menu format. Additionally, a sidebar offers six "Featured Resources": a link to the documentary film North Carolina Nurses: A Century of Caring (58 min.); a Timeline of North Carolina Nursing; a linked full-length digitized book, The History of Nursing in North Carolina (1938) by Mary Lewis Wyche, a North Carolina nursing pioneer; a link to digitized copies, held at the University of North Carolina (UNC) library, of the Tar Heel Nurse, the official journal of the North Carolina Nurses Association; digitized versions of The Health Bulletin, the journal of the North Carolina Board of Health covering the years 1886-1973; and a selection of audio and video interviews with North Carolina nurses.

The "Timeline" section, which includes links to information from the Revolutionary War to 2009, is divided into the following sections: The Beginnings of the Revolutionary War, 19th Century, 20th Century, and the 21st Century. Each section is then subdivided into additional links. The brief "Beginnings of the Revolutionary War" section names nurses known to have cared for wounded patriots and links to further resources on the care of the sick at the Moravian settlement at Salem, North Carolina. The "19th Century" menu includes a section on the Civil War with links to short biographies or to finding aids of collections located at Duke University and UNC. This section also contains a complete book written by northern Civil War nurse, Mary Phinney von Olnhausen, Adventures of a Nurse in Two Wars. Finally, it provides connections to hospitals and schools of nursing founded during the century, including psychiatric and general hospitals for both African Americans and Whites. Several of the links provide primary sources.

The "20th Century" is divided into decade links, each of which contains information and further connections to photographs, reports and summaries, and sources of primary documents. This section documents the origins of public health and psychiatric nursing, the openings and development of hospitals, as well as information on segregated schools of nursing and sanatoria. Links describe the founding of the North Carolina Nurses Association in 1902 and the first Nurse Practice Act in the United States, passed by the North Carolina legislature in 1903. The decade of 1910 includes a link to full length digitized editions of The Bulletin of North Carolina Board of Health (1886-1914) and later The Health Bulletin (1914-1973) via the Public Health Nursing link. This linked resource provides unlimited possibilities for research about all aspects of public health in North Carolina. In addition, the origins of nursing educational programs from Diploma to early Baccalaureate degree, Master's degree, Licensed Practical Nurse degree, Associate degree, and Nurse Practitioner programs are incorporated into the various decades.

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