Introduction: Histories of nursing practice

Christine E. Hallett, Gerard M. Fealy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscriptpeer-review


The history of nursing has been referred to as a ‘nascent discipline’ for approximately the last forty years. Its struggle for identity has been a long and tortuous one, mirroring the nursing profession’s own struggle for recognition. Negotiating a hazardous and shifting territory between the better-established fields of medical history, women’s history and social history (and with more than a passing nod to cultural studies), historians of nursing have often been distracted by the lure of greater credibility within these more ‘mainstream’ disciplines. Yet, their work benefited from the healthy exchange of ideas: an exchange which enriched the process by which scholars charted the complex past of the nursing profession and its practices. More powerful subject areas have offered support – and, in doing so, have exerted peculiar pressures, resulting in a slightly skewed perspective: one which focuses on professional identity and development, rather than on practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHistories of Nursing Practice
EditorsGerald Fealy, Christine E. Hallett, Susanne Dietz
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781784996932, 9781784996314
ISBN (Print)9780719099540
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameNursing History and Humanities
PublisherManchester University Press


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