Nursing Rural America

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Nursing Rural America

SKU# 9780826196149

Perspectives From the Early 20th Century


  • John Kirchgessner PhD, RN, PNP
  • Arlene W. Keeling PhD, RN, FAAN

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This book offers an interesting historical backdrop to nursing in rural parts of the US. Each of the nine chapters presents an individual case study from a different geographic area and focuses on a different ethnic population... Recommended. Nursing collections serving all levels of students, researchers/faculty, and professionals/practitioners.

J. Clawson, University of Central Missouri

Each chapter depicts nurses facing and overcoming a multitude of challenges as they addressed the medical needs of rural Americans. Because of their spirit of acceptance and community cooperation, their outcomes were remarkable: fully immunized communities, a decrease in mortality rates, statewide health policy implementation, and growth in community pride. The resilience of these nurses and their communities serves as a source of professional pride for problems solved and health enhanced."

óMary S. Collins, PhD, RN, FAAN
Glover-Crask Professor of Nursing
Director, DNP Program
Wegmans School of Nursing
St. John Fisher College
Rochester, NY

Tracing the history of nursing in rural America during the first half of the 20th century, this well-researched book describes how nurses shaped health care delivery in remote, isolated rural settings, and analyzes how insights from their remarkable achievements in the face of formidable barriers can be applied to health care today. The book examines the multiple factors that influenced how and why nurses responded to the health care needs of rural residents, with coverage of rural nursing from the advent of the American Red Cross to Mary Breckinridge and her legendary Frontier Nursing Service; from rural Maine to the Navajo reservation in the Four Corners region. Through case histories, it depicts how nurses, working in the hinterlands of place, race, class, and ethnicity, broke geographic, cultural, and economic barriers to provide quality care.

Based on nine actual case histories throughout America, the book identifies how nursing care was delivered to rural communities during the first five decades of the 20th century (before the advent of Medicare and Medicaid), and analyzes the impact of gender, class, race, policy, and place on rural health care delivery. It describes how nurses used ingenuity and self-reliance in order to practice to the full extent of their education, and explains how they provided access to care and health education in the face of many barriers. By documenting the reality of rural nursing in several different areas of the country and within multiethnic populations, the book also fills a gap in health care history. It provides historical primary source data that supports concepts, theory, and practice in rural nursing today. The book also highlights nurses' advocacy for their often disenfranchised patients, and examines how we can learn from their achievements to provide quality health care today.

Key Features:

  • Traces the history of rural nursing during the first half of the 20th century through nine case histories
  • Describes nursing care for populations including adults, children, itinerant tenant farmers, and rural poor throughout the continental United States
  • Showcases how nurses can serve diverse populations lacking a quality health care infrastructure
  • Provides analysis of past rural nursing as it can help guide nursing today
  • Offers historical primary source data that supports theory and practice in rural nursing today

Product Details 

  • Publication Date July 15, 2014
  • Page Count 188
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826196149
  • EISBN 9780826196156