The editorial position and content of each issue of the first 20 years of the American Journal of Nursing were explored in relation to the emergence of nursing as a profession. Themes identified reflect professional issues, socialization of nurses, and the influences between other major social/political movements. The evidence of the study reveals strong nursing leadership toward (1) legitimatizing nursing as a self-controlled profession and (2) generating reform in nursing and society at large. The evidence of this study contradicts many prevalent popular views about the history of nursing.
(C) 1985 Aspen Publishers, Inc.