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Historical Research Methods: Telling the Stories of New Orleans Nursing History Deborah Garbee PhD, APRN, BC & Dianna Hutto Douglas DNS APRN-CNS
Historical Research Defined • Integrated Written Record of Past that Weaves in Multiple Factors e.g. Social, Political, & Economic • Probing for Explanations & Relationships , Effects or Trends • Purpose is to Understand the Past to Explain the Present or Future
Historical Research Traditions • Positivistic • Attempt to categorize information and show cause-effect • Idealist • Try to Understand Thoughts of Individuals in an Event Along with Time, Place, and Situation
Historical Design • Define the Study Topic or Focus • There May be a Hypotheses, Questions, or Theoretical Orientation • Climate of the Time Period • ROL, Major Works on Topic • Identify Themes and Ambiguities • Formulate Questions • Organize Data (Full Reference, Archive and/or Library)
Data Collection • Primary Sources • Personal Letters • Diaries • Organizational Records • Photographs • Secondary Sources • Newspaper • Journal articles • Textbooks
Archives • Unpublished Material, Records, Manuscripts, Papers • Finding Aids • Collections, Record Group, Series, Subseries • Linear Cubic Feet • On-site Use Only • Pencil & Paper Only
Confirming Sources • Genuineness • Authenticity • External Criticism • Internal Criticism • Corroborating Evidence
Data Analysis • Based on Questions, Themes, and Conceptual Framework • Discover New Truths • Researcher Bias & Other Bias
Bias • Researcher Bias Identified • Present-Mindedness • Ideological Bias
Ethical Issues • Right to Privacy v. Right to Know • Infringement on Historical Reputation
Interpretation • Researchers Tell the Story • Explain What, How and Why • Explore Relationships
Historical Research Voice • Creatively Render Events, Findings, & Supporting Ideas • Plan the Story Using Themes • Weave Together Historical Facts • Go Beyond Facts • Develop New Knowledge, Ideas, and Meanings
Example Evolving Standards for Nursing Curriculum and Nursing Faculty in Louisiana 1920-1950
Research Questions • How did Louisiana, New Orleans specifically, respond to national calls for nursing reform? • What changes were made to nursing school curricula at Charity Hospital School of Nursing (CHSN) in New Orleans?
Primary Sources • CHSN reports to Committee on Grading of Nursing Schools (Jan. & Oct., 1932) • National League of Nursing Education (NLNE) Facts About Your School (1935, 1939, 1943, & 1945)
Secondary Sources • Goldmark Report, Nursing and Nursing Education in the United States (1923) • Nursing Schools Today and Tomorrow (Committee on the Grading of Nursing Schools, 1934) • CHSN Yearbooks Caps and Capes (1938, 1942, & 1950) • CHSN Bulletin (1958-1959) • Louisiana State University (LSU) Register (1940-1941) • LSU Bulletin (1942-1943).
National Calls for Reform • Improve Nursing School Curriculum Without Duplication of Learning • Improve Faculty Qualifications to Teach at a School of Nursing with College Graduates as Faculty • Eliminate Non-Nursing Duties
National Themes • Free Labor, A Win-Lose Situation • Anyone Can Teach – Raising the Bar for Nursing Faculty • Folding Linen, Washing Lettuce, & Cleaning Bathrooms
Local Perspective“Story” • Nursing N’Awlins Style • Sister Servants, CHSN Faculty Snapshot • Nursing Students: White Caps, White Stockings, & White Shoes
Discussion • CHSN Similar to Nursing Schools Across America • Students Worked Long Hours • A non-nurse board • Same Person over Hospital Nursing Service & SON • CHSN Ahead of Other Nursing Schools • Staff Performed Non-Nursing Duties • Large, Varied Patient Population • Increased Number of Graduate Nurses at Bedside • Presence of BSN Ed Students. • Regardless of hard work, CHSN Students Seemed to Love Their Experience.
Conclusions • So what? • Efforts to professionalize and improve nursing image & education continues today. • The image of clinging to an instructors skirt the first day on a nursing unit rings true today in that students are innocent & young. • Just as nurses before us, nursing faculty do not want to sacrifice what we perceive as quality education in the process of reform.
References • Glesne, C. (1999). Becoming Qualitative Researchers An Introduction. (2nd ed.). New York: Longman. • Kyvig, D.E. & Marty, M.A. (2000). Nearby History. (2nd ed.). Walnut Creek, CA: Alta Mira Press. • Speziale, H.J. & Carpenter, D.R. (2007). Qualitative Research in Nursing Advancing the Humanistic Imperative. (4th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott.