This guide will direct you to some general resources on the history of the nursing profession, as well as some documents that the Health Sciences Library has in our special collections. If you're doing a project or a paper on this topic, these resources will help you get started, and direct you to other resources as well. You can also find more books on the topic by searching the UNC Online Catalog. If you're having trouble finding what you need, come by the Health Sciences Library or use the HSL's Ask a Librarian page. We'll be happy to help!
General Sources on Nursing History
UNC has all of these books in our libraries, some online as well as in print. They provide good overviews of the history of nursing practice.
Routledge Handbook on the Global History of Nursing
by Patricia D'Antonio; Julie Fairman; Jean C. Whelan
Publication Date: 2013-01-01
History As Evidence
by Patricia D'Antonio; Sandra Lewenson
Publication Date: 2010-09-01
Men in Nursing
by Edd Faan (Editor)
Publication Date: 1957-01-01
Nursing Before Nightingale 1815-1899
by Carol Helmstadter; Judith Godden
Publication Date: 2011-11-28
Black Women in White
by Darlene Clark Hine
Publication Date: 1989-10-01
Historical Encyclopedia of Nursing
by Mary Ellen Snodgrass
Publication Date: 1999-10-25
Nursing, the Finest Art
by M. Patricia Donahue; Patricia Donahue
Publication Date: 1995-12-01
Enduring Issues in American Nursing
by Ellen D. Baer
Publication Date: 2000-12-01
A Biographical Dictionary of Women Healers
by Laurie Scrivener; J. Suzanne Barnes
Publication Date: 2002-05-30
The UNC libraries have many biographies of well-known or important figures in nursing history, and quite a few nurses have published their own memoirs and stories, as well. Here are just a few of these books--to find more, search the library catalog for "nurse biographies" or something similar.
The Frontier Nursing Service
by Marie Bartlett Maher; Marie Bartlett
Publication Date: 2008-12-17
by Bob Welch
Publication Date: 2004-06-01
'For Us It Was Heaven'
by Angela Jackson
Publication Date: 2012-03-01
The Indomitable Gertrude Green
by Max W. Hammonds
Publication Date: 2010-01-01
by Mark Bostridge
Publication Date: 2008-10-14
A Strong-Minded Woman
by Wendy Hamand Venet
Publication Date: 2005-11-01
by Jane Robinson
Publication Date: 2004-11-19
East Texas Daughter
by Helen G. Green
Publication Date: 2003-09-01
With the Armies of the Tsar
by Florence Farmborough
Publication Date: 2000-10-30
Mary Eliza Mahoney and the Legacy of African American Nurses
by Susan Muaddi Darraj
Publication Date: 2004-09-01
Reaching Past the Wire
by Deanna Germain; Connie Lounsbury
This collection includes digitizations of several publications and documents relevant to the history of nursing in North Carolina, including especially Tar Heel Nurse (from 1939-present) and North Carolina League of Nursing News (1953-1968). We also have reports from the Annual Convention of the North Carolina State Nurses’ Association for most years between 1946 and 1969.
These two journals are dedicated specifically to the history of nursing.
A major biographical dictionary of deceased individuals whose achievement, fame, or notoriety occurred while living in what is now the United States or who “directly influenced the course of American history.”
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Access: Off Campus Access is available for: UNC-Chapel Hill students, faculty, and staff; UNC Hospitals employees; UNC-Chapel Hill affiliated AHEC users. Coverage: Early America to the present
Combines a rich array of historical and cultural information about the African American experience with selected primary documents, web sites, and maps. The material is compiled by Oxford University Press from their many reference works, such as Africana, Encyclopedia of African American History, various Oxford Companions, and the African American National Biography.
Access: Off Campus Access is available for: UNC-Chapel Hill students, faculty, and staff; UNC Hospitals employees; UNC-Chapel Hill affiliated AHEC users.
This is run through Penn’s school of nursing—it’s a series of curated essays with additional resources like a timeline and images. It’s fairly Philadelphia-centric, but offers a good overview of the history of nursing in the US.
This collection offers about 10 oral histories of army nurses' experiences, ranging from World War II to the Persian Gulf War. You can access video/audio of the interviews, as well as read the transcripts. Some of the interviews have associated images and records as well.
The American Nurses Association honors nurses who have changed the profession in important ways. On their website, you can see short biographies of the nurses who have been inducted into the Nursing Hall of Fame.