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.
© 1985 Aspen Publishers, Inc.