Tag: Nursing

Our Work is Not Complete Yet: The Tuberculosis Nurse Training Program at Virginia’s Piedmont Sanatorium

In May 1940, the Piedmont Sanatorium in Burkeville, Virginia, graduated eight African American nurses with advanced training in tuberculosis care. A “Class History” and “Class Prophecy” presented at the commencement ceremony articulated the value of educational attainment, individual determination, and collegial support. As discussed in the Nursing Clio series, Beyond Florence, the history of nursing… Read more →

The School of Nursing at Starozakonnych Hospital in Interwar Warsaw: How Amelia Greenwald and Sabina Schindlerówna Challenged Antisemitism in the Nursing Profession

In the spring of 1923, Amelia Greenwald arrived in Warsaw, Poland, to undertake an urgent task. A nurse from the United States, she was to establish a school of nursing for young Jewish women at the Starozakonnych Hospital.[1] The project was funded by the Joint Distribution Committee, an organization founded during the Great War to… Read more →

An Emancipatory Vocation: Nursing in Quebec, 1912–1974

Established in 1967, the first Royal Commission on the Status of Women, also known as “the Bird Commission,” emerged following pressure from women’s groups calling for an inquiry into the status of women in Canada. The commission and its 1970 Report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada was a major step for… Read more →

Moving Beyond Florence: Why We Need to Decolonize Nursing History

When I suggested the “Beyond Florence” series to the team at Nursing Clio, I didn’t set out to “cancel” Florence Nightingale. In my introductory essay, I described the environment that gave rise to my concerns about how nursing history was being represented in both the year of COVID-19 and the International Year of the Nurse… Read more →

They Are More Than Research Subjects: Recognizing the Accomplishments of Black Canadian Nurses

Moving Beyond Borders: A History of Black Canadian and Caribbean Women in the Diaspora is based on extensive interviews I conducted with 35 nurses. Through those interviews, I examine how Black Canadian-born and Caribbean nurses made meaning of their occupational experiences, communities, and relationships to the Canadian nation. The experiences of these nurses are significant… Read more →

African Americans, Slavery, and Nursing in the US South

In 2016, a statue of Jamaican-born nurse and businesswoman Mary Seacole was erected outside St Thomas’ Hospital in London. Seacole’s contribution to the war effort in the Crimea and to British life is well-known. Yet, the tribute – the first statue of a named Black woman in the UK – gathered vocal opposition from The… Read more →

Black Before Florence: Black Nurses, Enslaved Labor, and the British Royal Navy, 1790–1820

Throughout the eighteenth century, the British Royal Navy embarked on a scheme of hospital construction in the Atlantic World. The largest hospitals were in the British Isles, but those that dealt with the highest mortality were in the Greater Caribbean. Most naval medical history focuses on male medical officers, while most nursing history examines the… Read more →

Nursing Justice: Filipino Immigrant Nurse Activism in the United States

When you think about trailblazing women in American nursing history, do Filipino nurses come to mind? Probably not. But they should. The pioneering cancer prevention work of Ines Cayaban in the 1940s, the organizing work of Esther Hipol Simpson to defend two immigrant nurses wrongfully accused of murder in the 1970s, and the current leadership… Read more →

Susie Walking Bear Yellowtail and Histories of Native American Nursing

I first encountered Susie Yellowtail (Crow) in a July 1934 letter in which a physician on her reservation condemned her for making “selfish” requests on health workers’ time and resources.1 The physician was angry that Yellowtail refused to accept hospital services for the birth of her child, and he made it clear that the Crow… Read more →

The Racist Lady with the Lamp

Nursing historiography is centered on whiteness. Even worse, nursing history revolves largely around a single white nurse: Florence Nightingale. This, unfortunately, doesn’t mean nurses understand who Nightingale was. There are nurse historians doing incredible and diverse work, but in general, nursing, both as a profession and as an academic discipline, promotes a view of Nightingale… Read more →