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AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000393040.16042.7b
Letters

Historical Perspective

Hinck, Susan PhD, RN

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Springfield, MO

The reprint of Wilbur J. Myers's June 1937 article, "Vacation Hazards" (From the AJN Archives, August 2010), was fun to read. I look forward to seeing additional excerpts from AJN's archives.

This new column reminds me of a popular prenursing course I once taught. For one assignment, I asked the students to browse through a year of early AJN issues and answer questions about one article they found particularly interesting. The students were fascinated by what the nurses of that time did: preparing saline solution by boiling water, using abdominal wraps for surgical patients, and caring for newborns and mothers in the hospital for weeks. They noticed that some things remain the same—dedication, compassion, striving for excellence, and making the patient and family the center of care.

Observing the changes in nursing throughout a century helped these students to understand the roots of our profession and the way the past shapes the future. Hopefully this activity has encouraged them to value our profession's history as they take nursing into areas that our early leaders couldn't have imagined.

Susan Hinck, PhD, RN

Springfield, MO

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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