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ABSTRACT

A descriptive, historical research study of the life and career path of Ernestine Wiedenbach was conducted. A productive career spanning five decades included accomplishments in prepared childbirth education, family-centered maternity care, nurse-midwifery education, and nursing theory. Wiedenbach's prescriptive theory of nursing with its focus on “clarity of central purpose” stands out as an important early professional achievement of this practitioner, educator, author, and theorist. It represents one of Wiedenbach's many pioneer contributions to nursing as well as to the foundation of the philosophy and goals of nurse-midwifery practice and education.