Authority and leadership: the evolution of nursing management in 19th century teaching hospitals
Article first published online: 16 JAN 2008
Journal of Nursing Management
Volume 16, Issue 1, pages 4–13, January 2008
How to Cite
HELMSTADTER, C. (2008), Authority and leadership: the evolution of nursing management in 19th century teaching hospitals. Journal of Nursing Management, 16: 4–13. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2934.2007.00811.x
- Issue published online: 16 JAN 2008
- Article first published online: 16 JAN 2008
- Accepted for publication: 12 July 2007
- 19th century nursing managers;
- allocation of scarce resources;
- nursing reform
Aim This study shows why some 19th century nursing managers were successful and some were not.
Background With the exception of Florence Nightingale, almost nothing has been written about 19th century nursing managers.
Method Classical historical method is used. Extensive use is made of secondary sources. Primary sources are found in the archives of the 12 London teaching hospitals, the Radcliffe Infirmary, the Convents of St John the Divine and the All Saints Sisters, and 16 000 Nightingale documents in the Collected Works of Florence Nightingale.
Results Success in delivering a highly competent nursing service depended on the matron’s leadership and legitimate authority but she also had to have the support of her hospital board to gain access to allocation of scarce resources.
Implications for nursing management While the 19th century hospital environment was very different, how nurses directed under different circumstances clarifies our knowledge of successful nursing management in 2007.