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Changing Times, Changing Needs, Changing Programs

* Sarah E. Abrams, University of Vermont, 211 Rowell Hall, Burlington, VT 05405. E-mail:


EDITOR's NOTE  The following reprint of the unsigned editorial for the April 1952 issue of Public Health Nursing describes the historical needs and the continuing development of school health nursing from the early to mid-20th century. Twenty-first century schools continue to deal with some of the same issues such as hunger, poor nutrition, and the adverse effects of overly burdensome work schedules on adolescent health and mental well-being. The goal, so optimistically anticipated by the editors of Public Health Nursing in 1952, of continuous, well-coordinated health supervision from birth to maturity continues to elude us. Of course, school nurses and other health personnel address problems not openly discussed in the 1950s—substance abuse, violence, sexually transmitted diseases, and teen pregnancy. The theme of this historical editorial is the power of advocacy—and the responsibility public health nurses have to use our talents to improve child health.