At the ‘turn’ of the nineteenth century a determined and highly articulate group of nurse-leaders chose to push-forward their national nursing agendas, by identifying their profession as an international one in which scientific knowledge, clinical practice and professional ethics were governed by universal principles. Wealthy, middle class women, such as Ethel Gordon Fenwick in Britain, Lavinia Dock in the USA and Agnes Karll in Germany, came together in London, in 1899, at an inaugural meeting of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) which coincided with that of the International Women’s Movement. Their work was fuelled by the optimism which surrounded ongoing improvements in medical technology and public health - developments to which they saw their own work as integral. In 1912, leaders met again in Cologne, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and optimism; but within two years they were to be ‘on opposing sides in the bitterest of conflicts’. It was not until 1925 that the International Council of Nurses – the group that had gathered in a spirit of such optimism in the vibrant pre-war city of Cologne, would have a chance to meet again. By then, their respective professions had taken different paths. Some nursing services had clearly gained recognition as a result of their war service. Others were still struggling to recover from the devastation and economic and political disruption occasioned by the war. Yet, as this paper argues, the nursing profession sustained and ideal of internationalism, throughout its pre-war campaigning, its wartime work and its post-war recovery.
|Translated title of the contribution||Nursing: An International Profession in a World Conflict|
|Title of host publication||Poder e influencia de las enfermeras en la Historia|
|Editors||Antonio Claret Garcia Martinez, Manuel Jesus Garcia Martinez, Gloria Gallego Caminero, Rosa Maria Hernandez Serra|
|Place of Publication||Palma de Mallorca|
|Publisher||Col-legi Oficial d'Infermeria de les Illes Balears|
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - 29 Oct 2018|