ERIC Number: ED203804
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Sympathy and Strategy: Issues in the Development of Nursing Education in the United States. ASHE Annual Meeting 1981 Paper.
The development of nursing and nursing education in the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is described. Professionalization accompanied by feminization in nursing, as in teaching, librarianship, and social work, opened opportunities to middle class women for respectable employment and sometimes prestige and power. All of these professionalizing occupations in which women came to predominate, however, had difficulty in gaining recognition as full-fledged professions. Functionalist sociologists have explained the failure of any predominantly female occupation to become fully professional as a consequence of the contradiction between professional and feminine roles in American society. It is suggested that although nursing leaders accepted nursing as a profession uniquely suitable for women, they behaved much like leaders in other occupations aspiring to professional status. They placed great emphasis on educational development, and attempted to recruit better educated students, to expand and systematize the knowledge base, to associate with institutions of higher education, and to prepare students for leadership. It is proposed that they made astute assessments of their situation and capitalized on opportunities. The nursing leaders were limited in their achievements not by their acceptance of a submissive feminine role but by the exploitative situation that existed in hospital training schools. (SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: ASHE Annual Meeting
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (Washington, DC, March 3-4, 1981).