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Essay on The Connection of Nursing with Feminism

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Throughout the years, the practice of American nursing has gone through extensive significant changes. Nursing evolved from an unrecognizable profession to a recognizable and respectable career choice for women. After World War II, nurses had to transition from working in private homes to working in public hospitals. There was a dire need for nurses in the hospitals because of the different communicable diseases that were around. In addition, “the rise of feminism in the 1960’s influenced public attitudes toward women, their work, and education.” In Susan Gelfand Malka’s Daring to Care: American Nursing and Second-Wave Feminism, she analyzed that second-wave feminism gravely impacted the nursing education and practice. The public stereotypically portrayed that nurses had feminine characteristics. Malka argued that the changes in their uniforms, from a traditional white apron uniform with a white cap to scrubs, ended the public’s image of nursing. The impact of second-wave feminism provided various negative effects with some positive effects that ended the differences between the gender roles of a feminine nurse and a male physician.
The connection between nursing and feminism was considered anything but straightforward. It was practically human nature and highly expected that nurses were all women and physicians were all men. “The feminization of nursing also avoided the uncomfortable situations of a male nurse taking orders from a female nurse, which defied gender conventions.” Malka elucidated how female nurses conformed to feminist positions and that ‘nurses do whatever doctors and janitors won’t do.’ According to the expected hospital hierarchies, male physicians were always a cut above female nurses. In the hospitals...


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...usan Gelfand Malka, Daring to Care: American Nursing and Second-Wave Feminism (University of Illinois Press, 2007), 113.
Susan Gelfand Malka, Daring to Care: American Nursing and Second-Wave Feminism (University of Illinois Press, 2007), 94.
Ibid.
Susan Gelfand Malka, Daring to Care: American Nursing and Second-Wave Feminism (University of Illinois Press, 2007), 96.
Susan Gelfand Malka, Daring to Care: American Nursing and Second-Wave Feminism (University of Illinois Press, 2007), 128.
Susan Gelfand Malka, Daring to Care: American Nursing and Second-Wave Feminism (University of Illinois Press, 2007), 89.
Susan Gelfand Malka, Daring to Care: American Nursing and Second-Wave Feminism (University of Illinois Press, 2007), 143.
Susan Gelfand Malka, Daring to Care: American Nursing and Second-Wave Feminism (University of Illinois Press, 2007), 1.
Ibid.





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