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?

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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.

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Midwifery Goes Mainstream

Princess Kate and Prince William made headlines when choosing to use midwives (Pictured right: Arona Ahmed and Jacqui Dunkley Bent)

Duchess Kate and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge made headlines when choosing to use midwives (Pictured right: Arona Ahmed and Jacqui Dunkley Bent)

by William F. McCool, PhD, CNM, RN, FACNM

Childbirth is the strong basis by which all species continue to exist, and for human beings it is most often a demanding, yet healthy journey. Over the millennia, mothers have given birth with the support of fellow women who learned the strength and willpower that laboring brings.  These supportive caregivers have had several titles throughout history, but the most common of these is “midwives.”

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What Would Florence Nightingale Do (WWFND)?: Nightingale and 21st Century Health Care Reform

WhatWouldNIghtingaleDo?

Editors’ Note: The mythology surrounding Florence Nightingale has often ignored or glossed over her role as an innovative applied statistician. Nightingale was doing sophisticated polar graph charts and thought experiments before think tanks and blogs existed. As we wrap up this year’s National Nurses Week and celebrate Nightingale’s 195th birthday, we thought it would be a good idea to look at how Nightingale would approach our modern health care issues. What follows is a fascinating scenario from Nurse and Mathematician Thomas Cox which positions Nightingale in the 21st century to make sense of our current healthcare reforms in the US.

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5 Myths of Gerontological Nursing

Gerontology nurse with patient at bedside, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 1972. Image courtesy of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing.


Sarah H. Kagan PhD, RN

We live in the age of aging. Unprecedented longevity juxtaposed against declining birth rates means the older population is expanding  at rates we have never encountered before.   Aging defined in positive terms – “healthy aging” anyone? – is increasingly popular. But discussing realities like health care is far different.

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