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NSG 317 - History of Nursing

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Lara Sapp


In this class, you will be researching the history of the Nursing field, as well as issues related to gender studies, film and television studies, and history. You will use different research strategies and resource types to help create a complete picture. For example, you will use resources from the time period (photographs, diaries, or letters) and from after the time period (books, articles, or documentaries). By using both sets of material, you let the unfiltered information speak for itself and the analysis from later scholars helps interpret the longer term implications.


Primary Sources

Primary Source

Stanford Medical History Center (Archive). (2010). Gertrude Kristoffersen, Gail Yando, Esther Rosewall, Delores Witmer comparing nursing caps [Photograph]. Retrieved August 28, 2012, from


"The nurse’s uniform was more than the outward representation of received behaviors and values of the school and hospital on its students. It literally disciplined the student’s body to create those behaviors and values. [...] Their starched collars chafed their necks, and their heads were held high to support their precarious caps. Every day they were physically reminded of the discipline of their occupation." (Bates, 2010, 173).

Secondary Source

Bates, C. (2010). Looking closely: material and visual approaches to the nurse's uniform.  Nursing History Review 18167-188. doi:10.1891/1062-8061.18.16