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Penn Nursing > Science in Action
Science in Action: Specialization Areas
Patricia D'Antonio
History of Nursing
Posted August 2010

Nursing from a historical perspective

While nursing has certainly gone through an upsurge of prestige in recent decades, said Patricia D’Antonio, it has always been true that nurses have had more education, money and status than others in their respective ethnic or social groups. D’Antonio, an Associate Professor at the School of Nursing and the Associate Director of the Barbara Bates Center for the History of Nursing, said that it has always required an enormous amount of time and money to become a nurse, and that nurses have always sought more education – something that certainly continues today. “The late 19th century begins the modern age of nursing,” said D’Antonio, who has also done research into psychiatric nursing, her clinical field.  “When there started to be standardization, registration of nurses, a defined body of knowledge – things that started primarily with Florence N...
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