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Dr. Nurse

Science, Politics, and the Transformation of American Nursing

Dr. Nurse

Science, Politics, and the Transformation of American Nursing

An analysis of the efforts of American nurses to establish nursing as an academic discipline and nurses as valued researchers in the decades after World War II.

Nurses represent the largest segment of the US health care workforce and spend significantly more time with patients than any other member of the health care team. Dr. Nurse probes their history to examine major changes that have taken place in American health care in the second half of the twentieth century. The book examines the major changes in nursing education and the place of nursing in the postwar research university, revealing how federal and state health and higher education policies shaped education within health professions after World War II.

Starting in the 1950s, academic nurses sought to construct a science of nursing—distinct from that of the related biomedical or behavioral sciences—that would provide the basis of nursing practice. Facing broad changes in patient care driven by the introduction of new medical innovations, they worked both to develop science-based nursing practice and to secure their roles within the postwar research university. By their efforts, academic nurses transformed nursing’s labor into a valuable site of knowledge production and demonstrated how the application of this knowledge was integral to improving patient outcomes. Exploring the knowledge claims, strategies, and politics involved as academic nurses negotiated their roles and nursing’s future, Dr. Nurse reveals how state-supported health centers have profoundly shaped nursing education and health care delivery. 

320 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2022

History: American History

History of Science

Medicine

Women's Studies

Reviews

“No other volume comes close to Dr. Nurse in describing and analyzing the journey of American nurses to establish nursing as an academic discipline and nurses as valued researchers in the decades after World War II. Tobbell’s book is a critical addition to the current scholarship and will be welcomed by nursing PhD programs and by students and scholars of women’s studies and education and policy history.”

Julie A. Fairman, University of Pennsylvania

Table of Contents

Introduction
1. The Need for Educational Reform
2. The Making of Nursing Science
3. Nursing in the Postwar Research University
4. “Nursepower”: States and the Politics of Nursing and Health Care in the 1970s
5. Academics in the Clinic
Conclusion
Acknowledgments
Archives and Collections
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

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