"Intelligent interest in their own affairs": The First World War, The British Journal of Nursing and the pursuit of nursing knowledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The development and transmission of nursing knowledge was a significant, but messy and inchoate process during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.While a number of authors have commented on the ways in which the social and cultural origins of nursing as a female, practice-based and low-status occupation impeded the advance of nursing knowledge,2 very few have attempted to trace the ways in which knowledge and skill emerged in spite of these impediments.3 This chapter provides one example of a way in which this gap in our understanding might be addressed. By tracing the written, British nursing response to the medical treatment dilemmas created by the traumatic injuries of the First World War, it presents a case study of one way in which a few elite nurses were arguing that nursing knowledge was scientific knowledge.The chapter thus traces a significant phase in the development of nursing as a discipline.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook on the Global History of Nursing
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780203488515
ISBN (Print)9780415594271
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


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