This brown-bag luncheon seminar is sponsored by the Francis C. Wood Institute for the History of Medicine of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, with the Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, the Department of History and Sociology of Science, and the Program in Health and Society -- all of the University of Pennsylvania.
The presenter of this pre-circulated paper is Jean Whelan, Ph.D., RN, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She has provided the following abstract:
"This paper describes the events surrounding passage of the 1938 New York State Todd-Feld Act, the nationís first mandatory nurse practice act. Nurses campaigned for passage of the act to correct serious employment problems experienced by depression era private duty nurses. After the act was enforced hospitals succeeded in shaping the act to their own needs. This paper will examine the competitive conditions in the contemporary nurse labor market that led to the actís passage and explain reasons why professional nurses failed to achieve the goal of mandatory nursing practice. Analyzing the events surrounding the passage of the New York State mandatory nurse practice act illustrates the ability of nursing to attain legislative victories as well as the limitations of relying on state mandates."
Wood Institute for the History of Medicine
College of Physicians of Philadelphia
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