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New International Collaboration

The Barbara Bates Center for The Study of The History of Nursing is collaborating with the School of Humanities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University to explore the development of nursing in China.

“Modern Nursing in China” will research how nursing developed in the country during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The interdisciplinary project will also examine the intersections of medical and nursing missionary work, the establishment of military nursing, and the process of professionalization from late Qing China through contemporary times.

Penn Nursing’s Patricia D’Antonio, PhD, Director of the Bates Center; and Cynthia Connolly, PhD, Associate Director of the Bates Center, will participate along with Michael Shiyung Liu, PhD, Distinguished Professor in the School of Humanities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, who created this project.

“This is an exciting interdisciplinary project which promises to not only expand our knowledge of the global history of nursing but also to substantiate the critical historical and current role nurses have played in public health, hospitals, and communities around the world,” said D’Antonio. “These exciting partnerships provide opportunities to use the experiences of nurses to address phenomena that cross national boundaries and cultural norms.”

The research project, currently in its early stage of development, will initially explore the collections at the Shanghai Municipal Archive, the Shanghai Academy of Social Science, and the Bates Center. The resulting research questions involve the complicated relationships among the rhythms of nursing modernization in China and the internal reform of nursing education and system in the United States.

“The project will bring our understanding of modern nursing in China to a new front that has been rarely studied but is essential to Chinese society,” said Liu. “With the cooperation among members from the Bates Center at Penn Nursing and also researchers in China and Taiwan, the largely unknown historical work of Chinese nurses can finally be more fully understood.”

This project has the support of the Academy of War Trail and World Peace and the Department of History in Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Also participating in the project will be Taiwanese scholars Chang Shu-Ching, PhD, (Center of Medical Humanity at Chang-Gung University) and Yang Shan-yao, PhD (Department of History at National Chengchi University), and Pi Kuo-Li. PhD, (Center for General Education at Chung Yuan Christian University) . They will join Chinese scholars  Zhao Jin, PhD, (Shanghai Academy of Social Science), Gao Xi, PhD, (History Department at Fudan University) and Ren Yi, PhD, (History Department at Shanghai Jiao Tong University). Projected results of this project are to establish plans for international historical data sharing and publishing results in both English and Chinese.