The Connection of Nursing with Feminism Essay

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Throughout the years, the practice of American nursing has gone through extensive significant changes. Nursing evolved from an unrecognizable profession to a recognizable and respectable career choice for women. After World War II, nurses had to transition from working in private homes to working in public hospitals. There was a dire need for nurses in the hospitals because of the different communicable diseases that were around. In addition, “the rise of feminism in the 1960’s influenced public attitudes toward women, their work, and education.” In Susan Gelfand Malka’s Daring to Care: American Nursing and Second-Wave Feminism, she analyzed that second-wave feminism gravely impacted the nursing education and practice. The public…show more content…
Also, “the average nurse’s salary fell further behind that of her closest colleague; nurses earned one-third of a physician’s salary in 1945.” Although nurses were extremely motivated and dedicated in their profession, they were underpaid. Both male physicians and female nurses received the proper education for the medical field. Yet, male physicians were considerably valued over nurses because they had seniority in the hospital; they are considered superior in the hospital hierarchy. Women wanted to find a profession that guaranteed greater financial rewards and was equal in terms of gender. During the post-World War II period, nurses strived for a better education. In the course of World War II, nurses were in charge of treating the American soldiers’ wounds. However, most of the nurses did not acquire the proper medical skills that they needed after the war. Malka revealed that nurses’ work has been recognized as the work that “medicine rejects or fails to see.” Nurses were not valued as reliable health care professionals. In addition, hospitals had nurses that casted different and unusual roles. “Some expected their nursing staff to perform an almost unrealistic range of procedures” such as “setting up their patients on respirators or even mowing
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