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

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.

RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bates-center-open-house-tickets-18263171638 

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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It’s a Small World: Lessons from Ebola and MERS

CDC mock Ebola Treatment Unit (photo credit: Cleopatra Adedeji)

By Emma MacAllister, BSN

The most recent Ebola outbreak all began in West Africa with one 18-month-old boy in the remote village of Meliandou, Guinea. From there the outbreak exploded into a global crisis that claimed over 11,000 lives worldwide and counting. An inability to halt the virus’ spread left health officials alarmed. Yet, in the Fall of last year, experts in the United States were confident in the nation’s health system’s ability to control an outbreak if Ebola crossed our borders.  We possessed the ability, resources and technology to effectively treat the ill and stop the virus in its tracks.  This attitude proved overoptimistic.

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Superheroes in Scrubs: Depictions of Nurses in Comics

Nurses and Comics Featured Image

By Jessica Clark, MA

It’s that time of year again where comic book fans from across the globe descend upon San Diego for Comic-Con International, the famed comic book convention.  As the Bates Center’s Pinterest page illustrates, the nursing profession has been depicted in various comics and graphic novels. From Wonder Woman to Jane Foster to Night Nurse, here are some of the most well-known depictions of nursing in comic books.

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Special Commentary: Obamacare is Here to Stay, But What About the Nurses?

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the Rose Garden (Getty Images)

With the Supreme Court ruling last week, the President announced definitively that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is here to stay and advised that now is the time to get back to work. One aspect of “getting back to work” is ensuring that our health care system functions at its highest level as the ACA continues to do its job of providing access to care for millions of once uninsured and underinsured Americans. A critical hallmark of a functioning modern health care system is the reliable delivery of professional nursing care. What history shows is that the perplexing and enduring problem of nurse shortages have frequently left the nation’s health care system compromised.

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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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