Academic journal article Nursing History Review

A History of Nursing Ideas

Academic journal article Nursing History Review

A History of Nursing Ideas

Article excerpt

A History of Nursing Ideas Edited by Linda C. Andrist, Patrice K. Nicholas, and Karen A. Wolf (Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett, 2006) (504 pages; $66.95 paper)

From my first contact with A History of Nursing Ideas, I felt that it was misnamed. All of the content in the book is important and interesting, but most of it examines contextual, political, and policy issues in nursing, such as gender, race, technology, education, and the like. A historical analysis of nursing ideas, such as Diane Hamilton provided in her seminal article "Constructing the Mind of Nursing,"1 does not occur. Written and edited by several members of the faculty of the graduate program of MGH Institute of Health Professions, the book's preface states its goal: "to guide students in their appreciation and understanding of the contextual nature of nursing knowledge and practice." I believe the book accomplishes its stated goal very well, but not through the use of nursing history methods or content. I think it more correctly could be titled "A Survey of Nursing Ideas."

The book is divided into three sections, with original and reprinted chapters presented in each section. Section 1, "Weaving Critical Threads through Nursing Ideas," opens with an excellent chapter that does present "The History of the Relationship between Feminism and Nursing." The remaining chapters present cogent discussions of oppressed group behavior, gendered relationships, cultural competence, race relations in the profession, immigration, the concept of community, the environmental metaparadigm, the impact of technology on nursing practice, and even our definition of "patient," all written by experts in their respective areas. The discussions, though excellent and well worth reading, are rooted in the present, with some secondary references to historical issues.

Section 2, "Application of the Scholarship of Nursing Ideas," addresses nursing ideas, although it does not utilize historical method or even chronology in its presentations. Section 2 begins with Barbara Carper's "Fundamental Patterns of Knowing in Nursing." It continues with a critique and update of the patterns, and then Janice Bell Meisenhelder's chapter on "An Example of Personal Knowledge: Spirituality." Elizabeth Barrett's "What Is Nursing Science?" and Peggy Chinn's "Toward a Theory of Nursing Art" continue to explore important nursing ideas. The following chapters apply theories in research regarding battered women, end-of-life care, grief and bereavement, family coping, adverse drug reactions in the elderly, and delirium, and present a cancer rehabilitation questionnaire. …

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