History of Nursing
This page is a guide to selected resources on the History of Nursing
available through the Library of the Health Sciences. This is not a
comprehensive list of resources. For further information, please consult
the library's online catalog,
Additional resources may be found through the library's
History of Medicine
resource web page. For further assistance please ask for help at the
Information Services desk.
This link takes you to MeSH, the Medical Subject Headings database. Search in this database
with the term "Nursing History" (or other related terms), to find the "official" names MeSH
uses for the subject you have in mind. Then, switch into the PubMed database (you can also do this
from within MeSH) and use the term(s) you found to find articles. MeSH and PubMed are
available to the general public for free, but UIC faculty, staff, and students can enter
a version of PubMed
that includes links to many online full-text journals.
American Association for the History of Nursing, Inc. (AAHN)
The AAHN is a professional organization founded in 1978 as a historical methodology group. It is
open to anyone interested in nursing history. This web site includes links to a nursing history
calendar, a historical methodology bibliography, resources for nursing history (which includes a
list of recent nursing history publications), short biographies with suggested readings about
some nurses (available under "Gravesite Series"), and a nursing history primer to introduce
undergraduate students to history research.
Canadian Association for the History of Nursing (CAHN)
This site lists many links to other nursing history resources, including the Internurse History
Page, BC History of Nursing Group, and a Significant Events in the History of Nursing timeline.
The Center for The Study of The History of Nursing
Established in 1985 at the University of Pennsylvania, the Center focuses on health care and
nursing history in the United States and maintains a collection of primary sources that
document those areas. Some short articles, biographical sketches of nurses, photographs, and
finding aids to primary documents are available online.
UK Centre for the History of Nursing
The UK Centre for the History of Nursing, was founded in 2000 by partner organisations, the Royal
College of Nursing (RCN) and Queen Margaret University College Edinburgh. From 2004 as the UK Centre
for the History of Nursing & Midwifery, the Centre has been based in the School of Nursing, Midwifery
and Social Work, the University of Manchester. This school has a strong tradition of research and
education and hosts an experienced team of researchers who are leading a number of projects in nursing
and midwifery history. The School promotes the inclusion of history at undergraduate and masters level
and offers PhD supervision. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has outstanding archive resources that
are the heart of the centre; students and researchers can visit the RCN's unique archive in Edinburgh.
The centre leads UK-wide research activity through a network of universities and institutions.
Projects are currently in progress at the School, of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, The University
of Manchester; The Centre for the History of Medicine, The University of Glasgow; The School of Nursing,
The University of the West of England; The Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, The University
Books on the History of Nursing are generally located in the WY or WZ
call number range, although some are located under other call numbers.
To find a book on a particular nursing history topic, search
For instance, to locate books on the history of public health
nursing, search Boolean for: history and nursing and "public
health". To locate books on the history of nursing during war times,
search Boolean for: history and nursing and war.
A History of Nursing Ideas
Edited by Linda C. Andrist, Patrice K. Nicholas and Karen A. Wolf
Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2006
WY11.1 H5576 2006
American Nursing : a History
Philip A. Kalisch, Beatrice J. Kalisch
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2004
WY11 AA1 K14ab 2004
Pivotal Moments in Nursing : Leaders who Changed the Path of a Profession
Beth Houser and Kathy Player
Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, 2004
WZ112.5 N8 H842p 2004
An Overview of the History of American Nursing [videorecording]
a presentation of Thomson Delmar Learning ; a production of Nick Kaufman Productions
Core concepts in nursing ; program 4
Thomson Delmar Learning, 2003
WY11 AA1 O968 2003
Minority Nurses in the New Century
American Nurses Association, 2002
WY16 B558m 2002
It Took Courage, Compassion, and Curiosity : Recollections and Writings of Leaders
in Cancer Nursing 1890-1970
Judith (Judi) Bond Johnson, Susan B. Baird, Laura J. Hilderley
Oncology Nursing Society, 2001
WZ112.5 N8 J67i 2001
Say Little, Do Much : Nurses, Nuns, and Hospitals in the Nineteenth Century
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001
WY11.1 N431s 2001
100 Years of American Nursing: Celebrating a Century of Caring
Thelma M. Schorr and Maureen Shawn Kennedy
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1999
WY11 AA1 5374c 1999
A montage of photographs and captions, commentaries, letters, poetry, posters, and short biographical
sketches of nurses from 1900 to 1995.
The Advance of American Nursing
Philip A. Kalisch and Beatrice J. Kalisch
J.B. Lippincott, 1995
WY11 AA1 K14a 1995
The history of nursing from Greek and Roman times through the beginning of the 1970s.
American Nursing: A Biographical Dictionary, Volume 3
edited by Vern L. Bullough, Olga Maranjian Church, and Alice P. Stein
WZ112.5 N8 A512 1988
Biographies of 175 nursing leaders, most born before 1900. Includes photographs and drawings, lists of
publications by entrants, and bibliographies.
Black Women in the Nursing Profession: A Documentary History
Edited by Darlene Clark Hine
WY11 AA1 B627 1985
Includes sections on schools and nursing education (1898-1969), surveys and reports on the status of
African-American nurses (1924-1937), and on the struggles of African-American nurses (1921-1976).
Braving New Frontiers: ANA's Economic and General Welfare Program, 1946-1986
American Nurses' Association, 1986
WY1 A5119f 1986
Contains sections on upgrading of employment conditions, collective bargaining, eliminating employment
discrimination, and lobbying activities of the American Nurses' Assocation.
Civil War Nursing
Garland, 1984 (Reprint of original works from 1863 and 1880)
WY C582 1863 Repr 1984
Contents are Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott and Memoir of Emily Elizabeth Parsons.
Companion Encyclopedia of the History of Medicine
Edited by W.F. Bynum and Roy Porter
WZ13 C737 1993
Contains a general history of nursing from 1800-1900.
Dictionary of American Nursing Biography
Martin Kaufman, editor-in-chief; Joellen Watson Hawkins, Loretta P. Higgins, and Alice Howell Friedman,
Greenwood Press, 1988
WZ112.5 N8 D554 1988
Biographical sketches of 196 persons important to the history of American nursing from the mid-1800s
to January 31, 1987. Entries include information on the education, career, contributions, and
writings of entrants. Appendices list entrants by place of birth, state where prominent, and
specialty or occupation.
Early Black American Leaders in Nursing: Architects for Integration and Equality
Althea T. Davis
Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 1999
WZ112.5 N8 D261e 1999
Historical sketches of Mary Eliza Mahoney (1845-1926), Martha Minerva Franklin (1870-1968), and
Adah Belle Samuels Thomas (circa 1870-1943). Appendices include The Incorporation and Bylaws
of the National Assocation of Colored Graduate Nurses, Revised 1933-1939.
The Education of Nurses: Historical Foundations and Modern Trends
Isabel Maitland Stewart
WY18 S849e 1943 Repr 1984
Reprint of a 1943 publication that looks at the history of nursing from "primitive times"
through the early 1940s. Chapters conclude with suggestions for review and discussion. Index.
Educational Standards for Nurses: With Other Addresses on Nursing Subjects
Isabel Hampton Robb
WY R631e 1907 Repr 1985
Reprint of a 1907 collection of articles written on nursing subjects, especially nursing
education, by the author.
Ethics for Modern Nurses
Katharine J. Densford and Millard S. Everett
WY85 D413e 1946 Repr 1984
Reprint of a 1946 volume that addressed the formulation and application of principles of
conduct for nurses.
The Evolution of Public Health Nursing
Annie M. Brainard
WY108 B814e 1985
Reprint of a 1922 history of nursing beginning with Roman times through the early 1920s.
Contains an index and various appendices, including East London Nursing Society rules for
nurses, suggested by-laws for nurses and for nurses employed as midwives, and tables
showing the growth of the visiting nurse movement in the United States from 1877 to 1892
and the establishment of visiting nurse associations in the United States from 1877 to 1905.
First Words: Selected Addresses from the National League for Nursing, 1894-1933
edited by Nettie Birnbach and Sandra Lewenson
National League for Nursing Press, 1991
WY9 F527 1991
Addresses are grouped in six sections, including education, control of practice, recruitment,
ethics, image and power. Includes references.
Florence Nightingale: Mystic, Visionary, Healer
Barbara Montgomery Dossey
WZ100 N687do 2000
A biography with letters, illustrations, and photographs. Appendices include a family tree,
a timeline, discussions of Nightingale's personality type, and a list of her written works. Index.
Florence Nightingale: Reputation and Power
F.B. (Francis Barrymore) Smith
Croom Helm, 1982
WZ100 N688s 1982
Especially considers Florence Nightingale's career as a reformer. Bibliography and index.
Folks Do Get Born
WY11 C189f 1946 Repr 1984
Reprint of a 1946 collection of narratives of midwives and African-American nurses in Georgia.
A Guide to District Nurses
Mrs. Dacre Craven
WY C898g 1889 Repr 1984
Reprint of the 1889 manual written by a nurse described by Florence Nightingale has having
had training and experience "greater and more varied...than that of any other nurse."
Sections include personal qualifications required for a nurse to the sick poor, arrangement
of the sickroom, on natural ventilation, cleanliness, duties of district nurses, on dry and
moist heat, observations on the sick, the best positions for the dying according to their
ailment, sick cookery, obstetric nursing, and rules for nurses on scarlet-fever nursing.
Appendices include a superintendent's report, district nurses' monthly return and day book
charts, and a register of cases.
History of Anesthesia: With Emphasis on the Nurse Specialist
Virginia S. Thatcher
WO211.1 T367h 1953 Repr 1984
Reprint of the 1953 volume that looks at the nurse anesthetist from the late 1700s to 1950.
Appendices include trustees of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, 1933-1950,
and officers, 1931-1950. Index.
A History of Mental Health Nursing
Chapman & Hall, 1993
WY11 FA1 N789h 1993
Volume is divided into sections on origins and contemporary issues of psychiatric nursing,
the roots of psychiatric nursing beginning in the 17th century, asylum care and culture,
training for attendants, and mental health nursing by decade from the 1920s through the 1980s.
Includes references and an index.
History of Nurse-Midwifery in the United States
WY11 AA1 S559h 1947
Reprint of the 1947 dissertation, divided into sections on the early 1900s, the first
recognized American school of nurse-midwifery, other nurse-midwifery schools and activities
in the United States, and organization and licensure of nurse-midwives. Includes a bibliography.
A History of Nursing, from Ancient to Modern Times: A World View
Isabel Maitland Stewart
WY11 S849h 1962
Has selected bibliographies at the end of each chapter. Includes a general bibliography,
diagrams, charts, illustrations, and index.
"I Have Done My Duty": Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War, 1854-56
Edited by Sue M. Goldie
Manchester University Press, 1987
WY11 FA1 N688i 1987
Contains selected letters of Florence Nightingale. Includes illustrations, index, and the
Confidential Report on the Nursing System since it's introduction to the Crimea on the 23rd
January 1855 [24th December 1855] in an appendix.
I Served On Bataan
WY130 R318i 1943 Repr 1984
Reprint of the 1943 memoir of Lieutenant Juanita Redmond, A.N.C., stationed in the Philippines
during World War II. Includes photographs.
Jo Ann Ashley: Selected Readings
Edited by Karen Wolfe
NLN Press, 1997
WY16 J62 1997
A collection of the social critic's writings, including her poetry, divided into sections on
power and politics, feminism and nursing, historical thinking and nursing, and new horizons
for new nurses. Index.
Lamps on the Prairie: A History of Nursing in Kansas
Compiled by the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Kansas
WY11 L239 1942 Repr 1984
Reprint of a 1942 volume assembled from diaries, letters, records, and unpublished memoirs.
Includes photographs, brief histories of hospitals and nursing schools in Kansas, a chronology
of progress in care of the sick and prevention of diseases in Kansas (1827-1942), and index.
Legacy of Leadership: Presidential Addresses from the Superintendents' Society and
the National League of Nursing Education, 1894-1952
Nettie Birnbach and Sandra Lewenson, editors
National League for Nursing Press, 1993
WY9 L496 1993
Addresses are divided into five parts: social reform (1894-1913), international involvement
(1914-1928), economic stability (1929-1944), professional maturity (1945-1952), and the future
(1953-). Appendices include presidents of the Superintendents' Society, National League of
Nursing Education, and the National League for Nursing. Contains references and photographs.
A Lavinia Dock Reader
Edited, with a biographical introduction, by Janet Wilson James
WY7 D6371 1985
Selected readings from 1900 to 1932 of Lavinia Dock (1858-1956), a leader in the
organization of nursing, nursing historian, settlement house worker, and suffragist.
Selected bibliography included.
Martha E. Rogers: Her Life and Her Work
[Edited by] Violet M. Malinski, Elizabeth Ann Manhart Barrett ; with special contributions
by John R. Phillips
F.A. Davis, 1994
WY7 R728m 1994
A biography and collection of Roger's writings and presentations on nursing science,
education, and research. Includes photographs, references, a bibliography, index, and genealogy.
The Nightingale Model of Nursing
Rob van der Peet
Campion Press, 1995
WY11 V217n 1995
Looks at the person and work of Florence Nightingale, plus her concepts of nursing, nursing
education, and professional nursing. Includes a bibliography and Nightingale's Notes on Nursing.
Nurses, Patients, and Pocketbooks: A Study of the Economics of Nursing
By the Committee on the Grading of Nursing Schools ; edited by May Ayres Burgess
WY16 C734n 1928 Repr 1984
Reprint of a 1928 study of supply and demand in nursing. An appendix contains the texts of
questionnaires used to conduct the study. Index.
Nursing: A Historical Bibliography
Bonnie Bullough, Vern L. Bullough, Barrett Elcano
ZWY11.1 B938n 1981
Divides bibliographic resources into 20 categories, including histories of nursing, nursing
research, nursing journals, biographies and autobiographies, historical research and the
teaching of the history of nursing, nurses' uniforms, religious nursing and sisterhoods,
sociology, education, and nursing in literature.
Nursing and Nursing Education in the United States
The Committee for the Study of Nursing Education
WY18 C734n 1923 Repr 1984
Reprint of a 1923 volume. Part A, "Functions of the Nurse," includes sections on public
health nursing, the nurse in private duty, and the nurse in institutions. Part B,
"Training of the Nurse," includes sections on the hospital school of nursing, training courses
for the subsidiary nursing group, the university school of nursing, and postgraduate courses.
An appendix contains copies of schedules used in the survey to study "the proper training of
public health nurses."
Nursing in Society: A Historical Perspective, 15th Edition
Josephine A. Dolan, M. Louise Fitzpatrick, Eleanor Krohn
WY11.1 D659n 1983
A history of nursing "depicted against the societal setting and the cultural and scientific
background of the history of mankind." Chapters include summaries, reference readings,
photographs and other illustrations. Index.
Nursing Problems and Obligations
Sara E. Parsons
WY85 P271n 1916 Repr 1985
Reprint of a 1916 collection of talks given at the Training School for Nurses at Massachusetts
General Hospital, Boston. Part I addresses nursing and ethics. Part II presents advice to
senior nurses on such topics as qualifications for executive work, specialized nursing,
living expenses, and molding public opinion, among others.
Nursing Reflections: A Century of Caring
WY11.1 N9745 2000
A collection of photographs and short personal reflections of American nurses, 1900-1999.
Nursing, the Finest Art: An Illustrated History, 2nd Edition
M. Patricia Donahue
WY11.1 D674n 1996
Contains 405 illustrations, including photographs, and text covering the history of nursing
from ancient civilizations through the mid-1980s. Includes a selected bibliography and index.
Pages from Nursing History: A Collection of Original Articles from the Pages of Nursing
Outlook, the American Journal of Nursing, and Nursing Research
American Journal of Nursing Co., 1984
WY11 AA1 P134 1984
Collection of 27 articles published between 1969 and 1983 on topics such as Florence Nightingale,
Sophia F. Palmer, Lillian D. Wald, African-American nurses, nursing during the Great Depression
and during American wars, among others. Articles include references and illustrations.
The Path We Tread: Blacks in Nursing Worldwide, 1854-1994, 3rd Edition
Mary Elizabeth Carnegie ; foreword by Josephine A. Dolan
National League for Nursing Press, 1995
WY11.1 C289p 1995
Chapters on nursing in the Caribbean and in Africa were added to this third edition. Includes
photographs, bibliography, appendices concerning academic and nursing association topics,
chronology, and index.
Pathfinders, a History of the Progress of Colored Graduate Nurses
Adah B. Thoms
WY19 T479p 1929 Repr 1985
Reprint of a 1929 history of African-American nurses, focusing on African-American nursing
schools and their graduates. An appendix lists 75 schools of nursing, the constitution of
the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, and Negro public health nurses classified
by agency employing them and by state and city.
The Physician's Hand: Work Culture and Conflict in American Nursing
Temple University Press, 1982
WY11.1 M528p 1982
Chapters include hospital schools of nursing (1920-1950), freelance (1920-WWII), public health
nurses (1920-1955), and hospital nurses (1930-1970s). Includes notes and index.
Taking Charge: Nursing, Suffrage, and Feminism in America, 1873-1920
Sandra Beth Lewenson
NLN Press, 1996
WY11 AA1 L671t 1996
Chapters contain extensive notes. Nine appendices include a sampling of women's groups
formed before 1920, nursing organizations and
affiliations with women's councils, and several timelines. Contains illustrations and index.
The Tuberculosis Nurse
Ellen N. La Motte
WY163 L235t 1985
Reprint of a 1915 volume. Chapters address nurses' training and salary, prevention of
tuberculosis, care of patient's family, hospitals for advanced cases, municipal control of
tuberculosis, prevention of tuberculosis, the nurse in relation to the physician and the
institution, among other topics.