Nursing Faculty Text Named Book of the Year

OGDEN, Utah – Since its inception in the early 1950s, Weber State University’s School of Nursing has had a rich, pioneering history. Now a new textbook, written by WSU nursing faculty, is receiving national recognition for chronicling the history of the nursing profession.

“A History of American Nursing: Trends and Eras” by WSU faculty Deborah Judd, Kathleen Sitzman and G. Megan Davis has been chosen as a winner for the 2009 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year award. The text, honored in the journal’s Public Policy and History category, is recognized in the January 2010 edition of AJN.

“In the past, nursing history texts tended to be large, overwhelming volumes,” co-author and associate nursing professor Sitzman said, in explaining the inspiration for the text. “The heavy content load associated with the BSN [Bachelor of Science Nursing] curriculum made a comprehensive, time-intensive approach to nursing history impractical.”

In approaching the new textbook, Sitzman decided to start with nursing practices in the American Colonies and Florence Nightingale’s work in Britain. She parsed out the profession’s history by trends and eras to create a “more streamlined, yet inclusive” text.

After beginning the book, Sitzman accepted a new professional appointment, and approached her colleague Judd about finishing the text. Judd completed the task, writing chapters six through 10, and refining the timelines featured at the beginning of most chapters.

Davis, a health sciences librarian at WSU, wrote the final chapter examining research tips for using information technology to explore additional resources about the history of nursing. Davis also worked on obtaining images that appear throughout the book.

At 265 pages the softbound textbook, published by Jones and Bartlett Publishers, has proven a popular text for nursing history courses across the nation. The book, first published in March 2009, is already in its third printing.

Judd said that history shows that in all eras “nurses have chosen the profession knowing full well the demands, the possibilities and the rewards. No nurse walks alone, nursing today is the result of those who have walked before us.”

As Sitzman states in the book’s preface, “Knowledge of nursing history encourages students to cultivate pride in the fact that they belong to a dynamic profession whose members have contributed immensely to the social fabric of this nation.”

Drawing on that knowledge of the past “serves to remind today’s students that their actions will determine future nursing history and empowers them.”

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Kathleen Sitzman, associate nursing professor
801-626-7713 •

Deborah Judd, assistant nursing professor
801-626-7862 •

G. Megan Davis, health sciences librarian
801-626-6069 •

John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
801-626-7212 •