A history of nursing: a history of caring?


  • Christopher Maggs PhD MA BA(Hons) SRN RMN RCNT

    1. RCN Professor of Nursing Research, Nursing Research Unit, School of Nursing Studies, University of Wales College of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff CF4 4XN, Wales
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The history of nursing is, itself, a fit subject for research It is unclear what would constitute history in this case, its time frame or its methodology It is also the case that the purpose of history needs exploration, since it can meet many goals, including the goal of professionalization This paper explores these issues in some detail, using examples from the literature in the history of nursing It explores historical inquiry and purpose and the problems of sources The paper also addresses the relationship between the history of nursing and nursing theory and questions whether existing historical scholarship is integrated with or is outwith mainstream nursing theory The paper questions the relevance of the history of nursing and suggests that the history of caring may offer one way through history to nursing theory