Trailblazers in Nursing Education: A Caribbean Perspective, 1946-1986

Trailblazers in Nursing Education: A Caribbean Perspective, 1946-1986

Trailblazers in Nursing Education: A Caribbean Perspective, 1946-1986

Trailblazers in Nursing Education: A Caribbean Perspective, 1946-1986

Synopsis

This book documents the contributions that Ruth Nita Barrow, Gertrude Hildegarde Swaby and Julie Symes made in advancing the status of professional nursing education in Jamaica between 1946 and 1986. Their contributions to professional nursing occurred while Jamaica was a British colony, and the economic, political and social forces of the era and their effects are discussed. Because their contributions extended to other English-speaking Caribbean territories, this study also focuses on the impact that these women had on regional nursing education development and the factors that influenced their involvement. The changes that emerged from the contributions of these women with respect to influence, commitment, credibility, visibility, networking, and mentoring in the profession of nursing are profound.

Excerpt

Jamaica is known as a country rich in oral tradition. Much of its history, including that of nursing, has not been written but passed down orally from one generation to the next. Consequently, written history about Jamaican nursing is insufficient and contributes to a lack of understanding about its identity. This is consistent with the fact that a lack of nursing identity has been an ancient and recurring worldwide problem, even though its roots are deep and date back to the prehistoric period. This identity issue stems from a variety of factors, including the struggle to gain the necessary political power to shape nursing's destiny, the struggle to establish a separate role for nursing apart from medicine, its struggle to achieve professional recognition over external and internal opposition, and its struggle to articulate the nature and value of the "work" of nursing.

The significance of this study lies in three areas. First, a brief history of Jamaica in the colonial and post-emancipation era with specific reference to public health care is discussed. Second, the evolution of the status of nursing, training and education in Jamaica prior to 1946 and extending to 1986 are examined. Third, the contributions of Dame Ruth Nita Barrow, Gertrude Hildegarde Swaby, and Julie Symes to the development of registered nursing education in Jamaica between 1946 and 1986 are thoroughly described. This is a history of a broad movement towards better, more uniform education and professional status for nurses in Jamaica. Documented by substantial primary resources, the study provides an invaluable contribution to the discipline of nursing and historical nursing research. It clearly demonstrates that Jamaican . . .

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