Patient People; American Nurses' Battle with Tuberculosis, Gender Dynamics, and Professionalization in Early 20th Century Minnesota

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Smith, Elizabeth Devin
public health; nursing; women; nurses; Minnesota; tuberculosis; Progressive Erar
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As a tuberculosis epidemic took its toll on thousands of victims, women found new opportunities to enter the labor force through one field in particular: nursing. Tuberculosis nursing offered female nurses three primary domains of interest, addressed in this paper, which were nursing schools, the homes of the sick, and sanatoria. Each locale had tense gender dynamics, particularly at a time when women were really just starting to enter the work force. But the care and maternal nature of the work gave women a unique opportunity to use their femininity to their advantage and to become more educated and economically independent.