Our Shared Legacy: Nursing Education at Johns Hopkins, 1889-2006

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Our Shared Legacy: Nursing Education at Johns Hopkins, 1889-2006 Edited by Mame Warren (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006) (304 pages; $50.00 cloth)

Our Shared Legacy examines the development of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing from its auspicious founding by visionaries Isabel Hampton, Adelaide Nutting, and Anna Dryden Wolf to the hospital school's battles for university status and into its present state as a degree-granting division of Johns Hopkins University. Editor Mame Warren walks a tightrope between celebratory institutional history and critical analysis. Along with Warren, historians and Hopkins alumnae Linda Sabin and Mary Frances Keen provide wellresearched primary-source manuscripts and secondary historical narrative. The extensive photographic history presents powerful material history, but the strongest pieces are the voices of the nurses themselves, candid and poignant throughout.

Presented chronologically, the history of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing mirrors that of others, from its beginnings as a training school in 1889 to its inclusion as a full member of Johns Hopkins University in 1984. However, permeating this volume is the omnipresent sense of purpose and legacy given to those who pass through its doors. This heady sense of destiny is found in the voices of the nurses: "We were very conscious of our heritage in terms of what was expected of us . . . students from Hopkins are expected to become leaders" (p. 155).

With monies granted by Johns Hopkins, the eponymous hospital, university, and school of nursing were founded in 1889. From the beginning, education for nurses at Johns Hopkins was caught between the tensions of these three institutions. As with other training schools, in the early years the tension rested largely between the hospital's need for nursing labor and the nursing students' need for education. In later years, the tension shifted as the nursing leadership tried to move the school of nursing into the university.

This volume details the growth of the school, the expansion of the curricula over time to include more didactic scientific education, the increasing diversity in the student body, funding and endowments, the growing sense of autonomy that nurses experienced as practitioners, and the subsequent need for more autonomous education. Even the changes in the student uniform, which paralleled changes in women's status outside the school, are chronicled. Yet although institutional needs exerted power over these processes, the authors do not neglect the power of the personalities within. …


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