New Opium Epidemics, Old Problems: Ellen La Motte and the Anti-Opium Crusade

By Lea Williams, PhD

In his 2014 State of the State address, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin devoted significant attention to the growing epidemic of opioid addiction in his state where the number of deaths from heroin overdoses doubled between 2012 and 2013 with a 770% increase in treatment for opiate addiction from 2000-2013. This situation continues to play out across the country with numerous news stories highlighting the contemporary heroin problem. Continue reading

In Honor of Nurses Week – The Stethoscope: A Tool of Nurses’ Trade since the 1930s

By Lydia Wytenbroek, York University 

Last September, the Miss America competition’s talent portion featured Kelley Johnson, Miss Colorado, a registered nurse, who appeared on stage wearing nurses’ scrubs with a stethoscope around her neck. Johnson’s talent was delivery of a monologue about her experience caring for Joe, a patient with Alzheimer ’s disease. In a competition where the majority of contestants choose to enact a song or dance, Johnson’s performance stood out as unique. But it was comments made about Johnson’s monologue the following day by the co-hosts of ABC’s The View which hurled Johnson, and the nursing profession, into the public spotlight. Continue reading

Are Women Really Qualified for That? 100 Years Ago, Army Nurses Faced Similar Doubts

By Marian Moser Jones, PhD

The U.S. debate over the integration of women into military combat roles, recently reignited by the Army’s April 15th announcement that it has selected 22 women as infantry officers, may seem to be covering new territory in the gender wars. But underlying the debate is an enduring question that resurfaces again and again in widely different contexts: are women really qualified for that?

Continue reading

Is poverty a crime? (The Public’s Health)

A SEPTA police officer takes Jeremiyah, 2, to CHOP after he was found wandering around LOVE Park late on Oct. 16, 2015. BILL NEWBOLD

By Cynthia Connolly, Kara Finck, Debra Schilling Wolfe and Cindy W. Christian

One story in Philadelphia recently captured a lot of attention. Just before midnight on a Friday two weeks ago, a SEPTA police officer found 2-year-old Jeremiyah wandering in LOVE Park, alone. He had no shoes and no coat, despite the fact it was one of the coldest nights of the fall season thus far. The officer contacted the city Department of Human Services; a worker took Jeremiyah to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for evaluation and subsequently placed him in foster care. A few hours later his parents, Michael Jones and Angelique Roland, who had been sleeping in a cardboard box with Jeremiyah and his 4-year-old sister, Malaysia, woke up. The parents panicked when they realized Jeremiyah was missing and contacted authorities. Within a few hours, Malaysia, too, was in the city’s care.

The Nurse Will See You Now (At Home)

Image courtesy of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the nation’s registered professional nurses. First the ladies on the popular television show The View disparaged the country’s nurses by critiquing a Miss America contestant, a professional registered nurse, who dressed as a nurse and carried one of the tools of her trade, her stethoscope. Many of the country’s 3.2 million professional nurses, quickly took to social media to correct the negative impressions the ladies of The View held about nurses. Apologies followed.

Continue reading

100 Years in Nursing History- Exhibit and Open House!

100 Years in Nursing

Today, over 3 million professional registered nurses deliver essential services and power our nation’s complex health care system. Their work, critical to the smooth functioning of society, often goes unacknowledged and invisible to the public. Nursing’s history is even less well known. Yet, it’s a history worth knowing providing a fascinating look at how the US devised the reliable nursing workforce on which the country depends today.

In the spirit of Archives Month this October, the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing is showcasing 100 Years in Nursing History. Images from the Center’s world-renown collections will be on display as well as other materials covering a century’s worth of nursing history. From training schools to war service to Nurse Practitioners,come learn how nursing has evolved and expanded throughout time, society, and health care.

Join us Oct 12th from 5-7pm for our Open House along with a weeklong special display of artifacts from our nursing collections. The Open House and the exhibit throughout the month is FREE to anyone and refreshments and food will be served. So please, stop in and view our wonderful collection of art and artifacts on the 12th.

Exhibit100 Years in Nursing History, curated by Tiffany Hope Collier and Jessica Clark. Ongoing Monday-Friday 10am – 4pm through Oct 30.

Special Display: Oct 12-16, Open House Oct 12, 5-7pm

Location: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing. Floor 2U in Claire Fagin Hall.


The Pope and the Sisters

As Philadelphia buzzes with excitement for Pope Francis’ visit, we take a look at the historical role of religious sister nurses in providing healthcare globally.

Barbra Mann Wall, PhD, RN, FAAN

This week, Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia to participate in the World Meeting of Families, a Catholic gathering begun by Saint John Paul II in 1994. Catholics from all over the world are attending, and prominent among them will be a large contingent of Catholic sisters for whom the Pope’s message resonates for the work in which they have engaged over decades.

Continue reading