Nursing Rural America: Perspectives From the Early 20th Century

Nursing Rural America: Perspectives From the Early 20th Century



Tracing the history of nursing in rural America during the first half of the 20th century, this well-researched book describes how nurses shaped health care delivery in remote, isolated rural settings, and analyzes how insights from their remarkable achievements in the face of formidable barriers can be applied to health care today. The book examines the multiple factors that influenced how and why nurses responded to the health care needs of rural residents, with coverage of rural nursing from the advent of the American Red Cross to Mary Breckinridge and her legendary Frontier Nursing Service; from rural Maine to the Navajo reservation in the Four Corners region. Through case histories, it depicts how nurses, working in the hinterlands of place, race, class, and ethnicity, broke geographic, cultural, and economic barriers to provide quality care.

Based on nine actual case histories throughout America, the book identifies how nursing care was delivered to rural communities during the first five decades of the 20th century (before the advent of Medicare and Medicaid), and analyzes the impact of gender, class, race, policy, and place on rural health care delivery. It describes how nurses used ingenuity and self-reliance in order to practice to the full extent of their education, and explains how they provided access to care and health education in the face of many barriers. By documenting the reality of rural nursing in several different areas of the country and within multiethnic populations, the book also fills a gap in health care history. It provides historical primary source data that supports concepts, theory, and practice in rural nursing today. The book also highlights nurses’ advocacy for their often disenfranchised patients, and examines how we can learn from their achievements to provide quality health care today.

--Publisher description.


Nursing Practice (DNP)



Publication Date



Springer Publishing Company





Nursing Rural America: Perspectives From the Early 20th Century

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