The purpose of this paper is to investigate the evolution of school nursing in the USA in the early decades of the twentieth century, highlighting the linkages between schools and public health and the challenges nurses faced.
This historical essay examines the discussions about school nursing and school nurses’ descriptions of their work.
In the Progressive period, though the responsibilities of school nurse were never clearly defined, nurses quickly became accepted, respected members of the school, with few objecting to their practices. Nonetheless, nurses consistently faced financial complications that limited, and continue to limit, their effectiveness in schools and communities.
Few histories of school health have documented the critical role nurses have played and their important, although contested, position today. This paper points to the obstacles restricting the development of dynamic school nurse programs today.
Apple, R.D. (2017), "School health is community health: school nursing in the early twentieth century in the USA", History of Education Review, Vol. 46 No. 2, pp. 136-149. https://doi.org/10.1108/HER-01-2016-0001
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