Nursing Education and the Struggle for Professional Status Among Nurses
Sullivan, Molly Mary Katherine
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The history of nursing education is reviewed, from very little formal training prior to the 1920s, to the current system with different methods leading to status of registered nurse, both from university and hospital based programs. Several societal issues are discussed which have affected the development of nursing, including nursing during wartime, the low status of women who dominate the field, and the proportionately low numbers of minorities in nursing. In 1965, a proposition was made by the American Nurses Association which would require a baccalaureate degree for those seeking the status of professional registered nurse. The paper discusses the controversy which has followed this proposal. Studies which examined differences among nurses from different types of programs are reviewed. The paper considers the proposal as a part of the effort of nurses to reach professional status, and the obstacles they have faced. Finally, a brief presentation of the current health care system is given, with the implications on nursing for the future.