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School Nursing on the Iron Range in a Public Health Nursing Model


  • Joellen W. Hawkins,

    1. R.N., Ph.D., W.H.N.P.-B.C., F.A.A.N., F.A.A.N.P., is Professor Emeritus, William F. Connell School of Nursing, Boston College, Writer in Residence, Nursing Department, Simmons College, Auburndale, MA
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  • John C. Watson

    1. Writer, articles on Japanese Anime, South Hadley, MA. Joellen Hawkins is the niece of Tommy Fuller and John Watson is her grandnephew.
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Corresponding author to:
Joellen W. Hawkins, 151 Stanton Avenue, Auburndale, MA 02466. E-mails: joellenhawkins@mac.comor


ABSTRACT Frontier nursing in the public health model might invoke images of school nurses on horseback in rural Kentucky or the wilds of the western prairies. Northern Minnesota was a frontier in the last decade of the 19th century, due to the discovery of one of the richest seams of iron ore on the North American continent. Immigrants from Europe responded to the opportunities this discovery created. Among the many Finns arriving on the Iron Range of Minnesota, as it came to be named, were the parents of Lillian Augusta Wilhelmena Beck, John and Hulda Beck. Over her more than nine decades of life, their daughter became one of the most well known school nurses on the Iron Range. Her story evokes memories of the creation of school nursing in the public health model by nurses at the Henry Street Settlement in New York City.