The goal of this project is to analyze from a historical perspective how registered nurses organized their work and to examine the relationship between professional nurses' working conditions and the appearance of nurse shortages between1900-1965. The four specific aims of this project are to 1) identify the employment arrangements and working conditions of registered nurses in the first half of the 20lh century and trace their relationship to supply of and demand for nurse services, 2) examine methods used by nurses to organize and improve their working conditions, 3) explore how professional organizations and health policy planners addressed and sought solutions to nurse supply and demand issues, and 4) synthesize and analyze the social, economic, legal, cultural and technological factors which created a demand for nurse services yet failed to match that demand with an adequate supply of nurses. This project argues that pervasive structural problems existing within the nurse labor market led to differences between supply of and demand for nurses, that responses to nurse supply and demand problems by health care institutions and policy making organizations failed to address adequately nurse workforce issues, and that this failure resulted in the emergence of profound and lengthy nurse shortages. The resulting project will be a book which will include content which examines the growth, development and eventual demise of the private duty nurse labor market, the ways in which nurses formulated and arranged their working conditions, the emergence of staff nursing as the preferred method of staffing institutional nursing services, the role played by professional organizations and groups other than nursing and health care institutions in structuring the nurse workplace, and the specific conditions which led to periodic problems with nurse supply and distribution to patients. This analysis of the formation of the modern American nurse labor market will provide answers to the question: Why does the United States never seem to have enough nurses?
|Whelan, Jean C (2012) When the business of nursing was the nursing business: the private duty registry system, 1900-1940. Online J Issues Nurs 17:6|
|D'Antonio, Patricia; Connolly, Cynthia; Wall, Barbra Mann et al. (2010) Histories of nursing: The power and the possibilities. Nurs Outlook 58:207-13|
|D'Antonio, Patricia; Whelan, Jean C (2009) Counting nurses: the power of historical census data. J Clin Nurs 18:2717-24|