The post World War II era saw health care becoming more institutionalized. Innovation and technology and were being introduced into the American home. By 1948, one million homes in the United States had television sets (Television Invention Timeline). Along with this, medical knowledge and the accompanying technology was quickly being developed and being introduced into the hospital environment.
Formal nurse training had been traditionally hospital based. During the war, to help ease the nursing shortage, women were recruited and trained as nurses by the Cadet Nurse Corps.
With advances in medical knowledge and technology and rising demands for higher-quality health care it became evident that nurses’ training within the hospital-based programs was no longer sufficient (Lynaugh, J., 2006). This led to the need for college and university based programs being expanded.
Although not well known to us now, a prominent figure in the advancement of nurses’ education at this time was a nurse named Mildred Tuttle. She was the director of the Nursing Division of the W.K. Kellogg foundation from 1943 until 1968. She played an influential part in reforming nursing education. During her tenure nursing education moved in to the mainstream of higher education in American universities (Lynaugh, J., 2006). Hospital programs were phased out; college and university programs were started or strengthened. According to Lynaugh, (2006) in 1948 there were 111 universities and colleges sponsoring nursing programs. It was also during this time under Tuttle’s influence that graduate education became more common and clinical specialist education was introduced.
Today, in the twenty first century, we are facing unprecedented advancement in technology both in our daily lives as well as in the medical field. As I see it, the challenges both now and in the post World War II era are quite similar. Those of us currently in nursing are faced with the challenge of on-the-job training to keep up with the new technology being instituted in our fields of practice and we also are facing the challenge of preparing nurses that will be ready to practice in the new sociotechnical age.
We may find that the old method of teaching, does not work for us now and it may need to be phased out and new methods may have to be instituted.