Background and Introduction
Contemporary nursing undoubtedly compares favourably with other professions if one judges by the standards of public service, idealism and professional solidarity. Yet entire volumes have been written on the medical profession’s contributions to the miracles of surgery or the triumphs over infectious diseases, whereas hardly a word has been written on the nurse’s contributions towards this progress . Though it could be argued that much has been written about nursing since Dock made this statement in 1932, if the passing reference made by Drake (2001) in The History of Appalachia, which referred to the Frontier Nursing Service as a “mission” while simultaneously lauding Lexington’s “prominent physician’s” is any indication of what is being written, then one could question the value placed upon nurses and nursing by the general public . Furthermore, the discipline has historically been modest, self-effacing and not fully cognizant of the role their profession has played in the modern warfare against disease . The need for professional nurses to honor their own work, attain recognition from physicians and the general public and rid themselves once and for all of this notion that they are compelled to work under the constant eye of physicians and automatically carry out their orders is certainly not new. However, it is a need that has yet to be fully satisfied.
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