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Nursing in the 1960s

Nursing in the 1960s

Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN | Scrubs Magazine

August 26, 2010

That groovy decade is cool once again, thanks to AMC’s hit TV show, Mad Men. See what nursing was like in the days of Don Draper.

In the 1960s:

• Nurses were expected to stand when a physician entered the room

• Most nurses still wore white dresses — and starched nurse caps

• The American Nurses Association recommended a Bachelor of Science in Nursing as the minimum education requirement for entry into the profession of nursing

Male students began entering nursing schools

• The first nurse practitioner (NP) programs were born

• President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law, promising that “no longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine. No longer will illness crush and destroy the savings that they have so carefully put away over a lifetime so that they might enjoy dignity in their later years.”

• A key theme of the 1969 American Hospital Association annual convention was the crisis in health care, “characterized by the fragmentation of care delivery and a lack of responsiveness by providers to the needs of the community.”

Sound familiar? What would you say has been the most significant advance in nursing over the past 50 years?

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