Capturing Nursing History: A Guide to Historical Methods in Research

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Sandra B. Lewenson, EdD, RN, FAAN, Eleanor Krohn Herrmann, EdD, RN, FAAN
Springer Publishing Company, 2007 M11 16 - 256 pages
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Winner of the 2008 AJN Book of the Year Award!

Named an Outstanding Academic Title for 2008 byChoice!

This well written and well edited book fills a unique gap....[one of the] precious few [books] that focus on science or medicine and [one of] even fewer that cover the history of nursing.(Three Stars)--Doody's Book Review Service

While there have been many research texts in the nursing literature, and nursing history is both taught in courses and of popular interest to practicing nurses, there has never been a hands-on text that describes the process of doing historical research in nursing. This book, contributed by well-known and respected nurse historians, provides the necessary direction, guidance, and examples needed to conduct historical research. It covers such topics as historiography, biographical research, using artifacts in historical research, doing archival and other data searches, doing international historical research, and locating funding sources for historical research. Case studies will be used throughout to illustrate various methods and describe how, why, when, and where historical research is used in nursing.

Features of this edition:

  • Provides direction and tools for conducting historical research
  • Describes types of research, including biographical and oral histories
  • Covers frameworks used to study historical events, such as social, political, feminist, intellectual, and cultural
  • Addresses contemporary issues such as preserving and storing digitalized and tape-recorded data and obtaining institutional review board (IRB) approval for research, and addressing ethical and legal issues in historical research
  • Includes case studies that provide a how-to guide to conducting research


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About the author (2007)

In her role as Professor of Nursing at the Lienhard School of Nursing, Pace University, Sandra B. Lewenson, EdD, RN, FAAN, brings nursing's rich history into the classroom. She teaches an online nursing history course to both undergraduate and graduate nursing students making history accessible and part of their educational experience. Dr. Lewenson weaves her love of nursing history into all the courses she teaches, including courses on decision-making, nursing education, and nursing research. She recently served as the President of the American Association for the History of Nursing and continues to be actively involved in this organization. Her research interests include nursing's historical political activity, the integration of nursing history into the curriculum, the evidence of nursism and its influence on the profession, and the history of nursing education in the United States. She has been the recipient of the Outstanding Scholarship and Research Award from Teachers College, Columbia University, inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Alumni Association of Hunter College, and received the American Association for the History of Nursing Lavinia Dock Award for Historical Scholarship and Research in Nursing. Dr. Lewenson is a member of the American Academy of Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society.

Throughout her career, noted nurse historian and Professor Emerita from the University of Connecticut, Eleanor Krohn Herrmann, EdD, RN, FAAN, has been devoted to preserving nursing history and designing nursing curriculum for future generations. Both of her interests took her to Central and South America where she was instrumental in establishing the curriculum of Ecuador's first university-level school of nursing under the auspices of Project Hope. Since 1969 she has had an ongoing relationship with the nursing profession in Belize, Central America as well as with several other countries in this area of the world. Dr. Herrmann has served on the faculties of several universities, including Yale and the Universities of Connecticut, Wyoming, Colorado, Syracuse, and Cornell. Dr. Herrmann has served as president of the prestigious American Association for the History of Nursing, and is the author of several articles, books, and monographs on various aspects of nursing history. One of her most noted works is the History of Belizean Nursing Education, published in 1985 as the Origins of Tomorrow. Dr. Herrmann has been the recipient of several awards in nursing, including the Yale University School of Nursing's Annie W. Goodrich Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Connecticut Nurses Association's Josephine A. Dolan Award. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society. For many years, Dr. Herrmann has been engaged in curating for the University of Connecticut's historic Dolan Collection and she continues to mentor nurse historians throughout the world.

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