Nursing in the 1900-1919

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Healthcare and nursing in the 1900-1919 period would change history forever. Nursing during this time would change from the traditional bedside nursing at home to a more institutional based nursing within the hospitals (Porter-O’Grady, T. 2004). In the Early 20th century most nursing education was hospital based and students learned by doing. Care was now being delivered at the hospitals. Organized medicine begins to emerge with the American Medical Association (AMA) reorganizing as the national organization of state and local associations. Half of the physicians in the country become members by 1910 (Healthcare Crisis: Healthcare Timeline, 2009). Thanks to Florence Nightingale for the reformation of hospitals and their sanitation methods, surgery is now common. Public health nursing was on the rise due to a recent influx of immigrants into the United States. Nurses went to homes in slums and tenement housing and taught about cleanliness, disease prevention, nutrition, and child care. In 1912, the National Organization for Public Health Nursing was founded. Nurse registration would begin to emerge and the Nurse Corps (female) would become permanent in February, 1901 (Nursing History Calendar, 2009). The nursing profession in the early 20th century was limitless. Nurses were setting their own rules and guidelines. There were so many great things happening during 1900-1919 including the first publication of the American Journal of Nursing in 1900. Sophia Palmer (first editor-in-chief) would use this journal to unite colleagues around the nation in an effort to influence political action and social reform (Mason, Leavitt and Chaffee, 2007). Nursing evolved greatly since the 1900’s, yet the foundations still remain. Sanitization of surgical instruments continues yet done in a more technologically advanced way, as with all of the other pioneer work. Public health has also developed greatly, although with the same goal in mind. To teach and educate the public against...
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