Jones, Anne Hudson. Images of Nurses: Perspectives from History, Art and Literature. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988.
Kalisch, Beatrice and Philip Kalisch. “Heroine out of focus: media images of Florence Nightingale. Part I. Popular biographies and stage productions.” Nursing & Health Care 4, no. 4 (1983).
Mackintosh, Carolyn. “A historical study of men in nursing.” Journal of Advanced Nursing 26, no. 2, (1997).
Muff, Janet. “Handmaiden, battleaxe, whore: An exploration into the fantasies, myths and stereotypes about nurses” In Socialization, Sexism and Stereotyping: Women’s Issues in Nursing. St Louis, MO: C.V. Mosby, 1982.
Philips, Deborah. “Healthy heroines: Sue Barton, Lillian Wald, Lavinia Lloyd Dock and the Henry Street Settlement.” Journal of American Studies 33 (1998).
Reeves, Connie L. “Invisible soldiers: Military nurses.” In Gender Camouflage: Women and the U.S. Military. Edited by F. D'Amico and L. L. Weinstein. New York and London: New York University Press, 1999.).
Reverby, Susan M. Ordered to Care: The Dilemma of American Nursing 1850-1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Sabin, Linda Emerson. “Nursing and Health Care in Jacksonville, Florida, 1900-1930.” Master’s thesis. University of North Florida, 1988. Available online at http://digitalcommons.unf.edu/etd/2/.
Simnett, A. “The pursuit of respectability: Women and the nursing profession 1860-1900.” In Political Issues in Nursing Past, Present and Future, Vol 2. Edited by R. White. Chichester, United Kingdom: John Wiley and Sons, 1986.
Summers, Anne. Angels and Citizens: British Women as Military Nurses 1854-1914. New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1988.
Zwerdling, Michael. Postcards of Nursing: A worldwide tribute. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2004.
K-12 SUGGESTED READING
Elliott, L.M. Annie, Between the States. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2004.
Grade level: 6–11
This is a historical fiction novel about a young Virginia girl torn between loyalty to home and a new love during the Civil War. Her brothers fight for the Confederacy while Annie and her mother tend to wounded soldiers, but her world is thrown into even more tumult when she falls for a Union Army lieutenant.
Farenhorst, Christine. A Cup of Cold Water: The Compassion of Nurse Edith Cavell. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2007.
Grade level: 4–8 A Cup of Cold Water is a novelization of the life and times of Edith Cavell (1865-1915), a British pioneer in the nursing field working in German-occupied Belgium during World War I. She saved the lives of countless wounded on both sides of the conflict and helped Allied soldiers escape the country, for which she was put to death by the German military. She was lauded for her heroism and her execution drew international disapproval. Posthumously, she gained iconic status as a figure in British war propaganda.
Hamley, Dennis. Without Warning: Ellen’s Story, 1914–1918. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2007.
Grade level: 7 and up
A young adult fiction novel set in England during World War I, Without Warning tells the story of Ellen, whose brother’s enlistment in the British army inspires her to get involved in the war effort as a nurse. She comes of age as she navigates the everyday realities and horrors of war.
Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms. New York: Scribner, 1929.
Grade level: 10 and up A Farewell to Arms is a classic novel about an American ambulance driver on the Italian front in World War I, in a romantic entanglement with an English nurse. Author Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961) paints a hauntingly vivid picture of war and love in the face of devastation, drawing from his personal experience as an ambulance driver in World War I.
Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. New York: Penguin Group, 1976.
Grade Level: 9 and up
In this American classic, Randle Patrick McMurphy, a rabble-rousing cad in a psychiatric hospital who faked insanity to avoid serving a prison sentence, butts heads with Nurse Ratched, the tyrannical overlord of the ward. McMurphy’s antics lead the other patients to assert their own power and seek out joy, but at a cost.
Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Dear America: With the Might of Angels. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 2011.
Grade Level: 4–9 Dear America: With the Might of Angels is the fictional diary of Dawn Rae Johnson, a young black girl in 1955 who learns she will be one of the first students to integrate a formerly all-white school after the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, which struck down segregation. She faces racism from those who oppose integration and uncertainty about her future as she dreams of becoming a doctor, though she has never seen a black doctor or nurse before. This book is part of a series.
Robbins, Trina. Florence Nightingale: Lady with the Lamp (Graphic Biography Series). Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2007.
Grade level: 3 and up
This graphic novel tells the story of Florence Nightingale (1820–1910), the founder of modern nursing who tended to the wounded during the Crimean War. She established the nursing school at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, now part of King’s College London. There, the training program she spearheaded laid the groundwork for the professionalization of nursing.
Wells, Helen. Cherry Ames Boxed Set (Books 1-4): Student Nurse, Senior Nurse, Army Nurse & Chief Nurse. New York: Springer Publishing Company, 2006.
Grade Level: 3–7
A girl seeking adventure, Cherry Ames leaves her hometown at 18 to enter nursing school during World War II. Throughout the book series she matures, gaining status and expertise in her profession, making friends, and solving mysteries.
White, Ellen Emerson. Dear America: Where Have All the Flowers Gone? New York: Scholastic, Inc., 2002.
Grade Level: 5–9
Part of the Dear America series, this diary chronicles the life of an anti-war demonstrator in 1968 Boston and her brother, who is fighting in the Vietnam War. The young marine details his harrowing wartime experiences, while his sister volunteers at the orthopedic ward of a veteran’s hospital, where she gains a greater understanding of the horror people endure in war.
_____, The Road Home. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1995.
Grade Level: 8–12
Rebecca Phillips is a young nurse in the Vietnam War trying to cope with despair and guilt as she is surrounded by death and suffering. After she returns home from the war, she embarks on a cross-country trip to reunite with a soldier with which she had a tumultuous romance in Vietnam. The Road Home was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.
Worth, Jennifer. Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times. New York: Penguin Group Inc., 2012.
Grade Level: 9–12
This popular historical fiction book series set in the 1950s, which has been turned into a BBC television series, follows Jenny Lee, who becomes a midwife delivering babies in London’s East End slums. The series is based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth (1935–2011), a British nurse and musician.
Baly, Monica. Nursing and Social Change. London: Routledge, 1995.
Grade level: 10–12
Baly provides a study of how nursing has developed as a response to changing social needs. She provides a comprehensive look at the history of the profession, from the 16th century to the present day, highlighting the work of pioneers like Florence Nightingale (1820–1910), and examining nursing during various wars and other times of change in the field.
Cowen, Ruth. A Nurse at the Front: The First World War Diaries of Sister Edith Appleton. London: Simon & Schuster, 2012.
Grade level: 9–12
The book, produced in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum, offers excellent primary source materials. A Nurse at the Front is the real-life diary of World War I nurse, Sister Edith Appleton (1877–1958), a nun tending to the wounded in France near the Western Front. Her diary details the horrors she witnessed, including the first use of poison gas and the terrible cost of battles such as Ypres, but also gives a look at the life of a World War I nurse. Sister Appleton was awarded the United Kingdom Military OBE, the Royal Red Cross, and the Belgian Queen Elizabeth medal, among others, for her bravery and dedication.
Darraj, Susan Muaddi. Mary Eliza Mahoney and the Legacy of African-American Nurses (Women in Medicine). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2005.
Grade level: 7–12
Darraj chronicles the achievements and contributions of African American nurses from the mid-19th century to the start of the 21st century, highlighting the work of Mary Eliza Mahoney (1845–1926), the first professional African American nurse. Mahoney trained at the New England Hospital for Women and Children, co-founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, and was one of the original members of the American Nurses Association.
Jordan, Denise. Susie King Taylor: Destined to Be Free. East Orange, NJ: Just Us Books, 1994.
Grade level: 4–8
This children’s book is a biography of Susie King Taylor (1848–1912), the first African American Civil War nurse. Taylor recounted her career as a wartime nurse in her autobiography, Reminiscences of My Life in Camp, which she hoped would shed light on the unique and underreported experiences of African American women active in the Civil War.
Monahan, Evelyn and Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee. And If I Perish: Frontline U.S. Army Nurses in World War II. New York: Random House, 2003.
Grade level: 9–12 And if I Perish explores the critical role of the more than 59,000 US Army Nurses active in World War II. It contains firsthand accounts of nurses who served in combat zones throughout Europe and North Africa.
Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1860.
Grade level: 9–12
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), the founder of the modern nursing profession, lays the groundwork for nursing in this book. She describes the role of women in nursing and everyday life, introduces preventative and alternative medicine, and explores the mind/body connection that contributes to well-being. You can find the full text of the book online here.
Oates, Stephen B. Woman of Valor: Clara Barton and the Civil War. New York: The Free Press, 1995.
Grade level: 9–12
Prolific biographer Oates uses both primary and secondary sources to bring to life the work of Clara Barton (1821–1912), a pioneering teacher, social activist, founder of the American Red Cross, and nurse. The book highlights Barton’s time as a nurse on the battlefields of the Civil War.
Seacole, Mary. Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands. London: Penguin Books, 2005.
Grade level: 9–12
This is the autobiography of Mary Seacole (1805–1881), a groundbreaking, Jamaican-born nurse. Learning nursing skills and traditional medicine from her mother, she traveled around Europe and the Caribbean, gaining medical knowledge along the way. After funding her own trip to Crimea (in modern day Ukraine) to help with the war effort, she established the British Hotel, a hospital for wounded soldiers. Her reputation rivaled that of her contemporary, Florence Nightingale.
Stevenson, Augusta. Clara Barton: Founder of the American Red Cross (The Childhood of Famous Americans Series). New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 1986.
Grade level: 3–8
The biography presents the life of Clara Barton (1821–1912), who served as Civil War nurse, in addition to founding and being the first president of the American Red Cross.
Taylor, Susie King. Reminiscences of My Life in Camp: An African American Woman’s Civil War Memoir. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2006.
Grade level: 9–12
Published in 1902, Reminiscences of My Life in Camp is Susie King Taylor’s (1848–1912) firsthand account of her pioneering work as the first African American Civil War nurse. She covers both the war and post war period, during which she tended to sick and wounded soldiers, while serving as a cook, laundress, and teacher, with little formal training and for no pay. She details interactions between black and white troops, men and women, and Northerners and Southerners, shining a light on the racism and sexism she and many others faced.
Wells, Rosemary. Mary On Horseback: Three Mountain Stories. New York: Puffin Books, 2000.
Grade level: 3–7
Wells gives a biography of Mary Breckinridge (1881–1965), a nurse-midwife who founded the Frontier Nursing Service, which provides healthcare services to rural populations and trains nurse-midwives. She worked primarily in the Appalachian Mountains, establishing clinics in very poor and remote areas with little access to healthcare. In its first thirty years of operation, the organization’s work improved the infant and maternal mortality rates, and average birth weights in the region increased to levels higher than the national average.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ (accessed January 15, 2014)
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) represents over 725 colleges and universities in the United States, establishing quality standards for undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, helping academic institutions implement their standards, and raising awareness of nursing education, research, and practice in the general public.
American Association for the History of Nursing http://www.aahn.org/ (accessed January 15, 2014)
The American Association for the History of Nursing (AAHN) seeks to stimulate interest in the history of nursing in the general public, the nursing profession, and scholarly circles. It promotes the inclusion of history in nursing education, encourages the collection and preservation of historical materials, and supports academic research in nursing history.
American Nurses Association http://www.nursingworld.org/ (accessed January 15, 2014)
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the leading professional nursing organization in the United States. Comprised of state affiliates and subsidiary organizations, the ANA offers career services and information, accreditation, educational resources, and opportunities for networking. The Association releases publications including The American Nurse, American Nurse Today, and the peer-reviewed OJIN:
The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing.
American Red Cross. “Our History.” https://www.redcross.org/about-us/who-we-are/history.html (accessed January 15, 2014)
The American Red Cross gives a brief organizational history, from its founding by Civil War nurse and social reformer, Clara Barton (1821–1912), in 1881, through World Wars I and II, to the present day.
Bellafaire, Judith, PhD. “Native American Women Veterans.” Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, Inc. https://www.womensmemorial.org/native-american-women-veterans (accessed January 22, 2014)
Author Judith Bellafaire, PhD, profiles some of the notable, yet historically-overlooked Native American women veterans.
“Black Nurses in History: A Bibliography and Guide to Web Resources.” Cooper Medical School of Rowan University Library. http://libguides.rowan.edu/blacknurses (accessed January 22, 2014)
The Cooper Medical School of Rowan University⁏s library has published a list of books, articles, and web resources which document the experience of black nurses and their struggle for equality in the nursing profession.
Canadian Association for the History of Nursing http://cahn-achn.ca/ (accessed January 22, 2014)
The Canadian Association for the History of Nursing is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting interest in and scholarship on the history of nursing.
Florence Nightingale Museum http://www.florence-nightingale.co.uk/ (accessed January 22, 2014)
The Florence Nightingale Museum educates its visitors about the legacy of Florence Nightingale and her role in the history of the nursing profession.
Illinois Training School for Nurses Records, Health Sciences Manuscripts, University of Illinois at Chicago, Library of the Health Sciences Special Collections, HS-15. http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/uic_itsn (accessed January 22, 2014)
The Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Illinois at Chicago offers a brief history of the Illinois Training School for Nurses (1880–1929), as well as an inventory of items in the corresponding collection.
International Committee of the Red Cross. “History.” http://www.icrc.org/eng/who-we-are/history/index.jsp (accessed January 15, 2014)
This site gives a short history of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, and offers additional information, such as reference documents and key facts.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. “History.” http://www.ifrc.org/en/who-we-are/history/ (accessed January 17, 2014).
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies offer an overview of their early history, and highlight the contributions of Swiss businessman Henry Dunant to the formation of the organization.
“Lillian Wald: Public Health Nursing.” Women of Valor. Jewish Women’s Archive. https://jwa.org/womenofvalor/wald (accessed January 22, 2014)
The Jewish Women’s Archive documents the achievements and stories of Jewish women in North America. This particular webpage examines the legacy of Lilian Wald and her contribution to public health nursing at Columbia University, and later as the head of the National Organization of Public Health Nurses.
“Missionary Collections.” Archives & Special Collections, School of Oriental and African Studies Library, University of London. http://www.soas.ac.uk/library/archives/collections/missionary-collections/ (accessed January 22, 2014)
University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) maintains a large collection of missionary archives, spanning the 18th–20th centuries. This site provides an online portal to the materials in their missionary archives, including individual missionary accounts, journals, correspondence and related media from Christian missionaries in Africa and Asia.
“National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses Founded.” African American Registry. https://aaregistry.org/story/national-association-of-colored-graduate-nurses-founded/ (accessed January 15, 2014)
The African American Registry website offers an overview of the founding of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, a professional organization for African Americans which was spearheaded by the first professional African American nurse, Mary Eliza Mahoney.
“Perkins Bull Convalescent Home for Canadian Officers.” Lost Hospitals of London. http://ezitis.myzen.co.uk/perkinsbull.html (accessed January 22, 2014)
A brief background and history of the Perkins Bull Hospital for Convalescent Canadian Officers (1916–19) is described on this site. Notably, the staff of the hospital were Voluntary Aid Detachment members (VADs).
Royal College of Nursing. “RCN archive.” Royal College of Nursing Library and Heritage Services. https://www.rcn.org.uk/library/archives (accessed July 30, 2018)
The Royal College of Nursing in the United Kingdom offers online access to their archives on this site. Items in the archive include digitized historical nursing journals and documents of historical interest, as well as oral history recordings and historical biographies.
The National Institute of Nursing Research http://www.ninr.nih.gov/ (accessed January 15, 2014)
The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) is one of the 27 institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health. NINR supports research into the biomedical and behavioral issues to which nursing professionals respond.
The Queen’s Nursing Institute. “History.” District Nursing 150. http://www.districtnursing150.org.uk/ (accessed January 15, 2014) District Nursing 150 is a website created by the Queen’s Nursing Institute in the United Kingdom. Its “History” section highlights some of the major figures and events in the 150-year-history of the District Nursing program that helped establish community nursing in an official capacity.
United States Army Nurses Corp Association. “History” Army Nurse Corps Association History Page. http://www.e-anca.org/ANCAHist.htm (accessed January 15, 2014)
The United States Army Nurses Corp Association (ANCA) website offers highlights of notable events in ANCA history, as well as a member biographies and an official bibliography.
Visiting Nurse Service of New York. https://www.vnsny.org/who-we-are/about-us/ (accessed June 8, 2018)
The Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) represents the largest not-for-profit home- and community-based health care organizations. This site offers information about the history of visiting nurse/home healthcare agencies beginning with founder Lillian Wald, as well as their current functions and services.