Marie Branch and the Power of Nursing

Cory Ellen Gatrall, RN, CLC, Doctoral Student, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

The following is an excerpt of a recent post by Cory Ellen Gatrall, on Nursing Clio.

In June 2020, when millions took to the streets in the midst of a pandemic to protest police attacks on Black lives, public statements began to trickle out of major nursing organizations. The American Nurses Association (ANA) called racism “a public health crisis,” while the American Association of Colleges of Nursing declared that “racism will no longer be tolerated.” In fact, since its inception, organized nursing has not only tolerated racism but also actively practiced it, while those who have provided the field with both evidence and opportunity to make antiracist change have found themselves facing the weaponized inertia of the institutions which claim to represent them.

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The Racist Lady With The Lamp

Natalie Stake-Doucet, RN, MSC, Doctoral Candidate, Université de Montréal

The following is an excerpt of a recent post by Natalie Stake-Doucet, on Nursing Clio.

Nursing historiography is centered on whiteness. Even worse, nursing history revolves largely around a single white nurse: Florence Nightingale. This, unfortunately, doesn’t mean nurses understand who Nightingale was. There are nurse historians doing incredible and diverse work, but in general, nursing, both as a profession and as an academic discipline, promotes a view of Nightingale based in a culture of white supremacy rather than historical facts. Here, I make explicit Nightingale’s role in British colonial violence by analyzing some of her writings on the British colonies. This history allows us to better discuss the consequences of her legacy in nursing.

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