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School health is community health: school nursing in the early twentieth century in the USA

Rima D. Apple (University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA)

History of Education Review

ISSN: 0819-8691

Article publication date: 2 October 2017

697

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

This historical essay examines the discussions about school nursing and school nurses’ descriptions of their work.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Keywords

Citation

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

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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