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October 21, 1988

Images of Nurses: Perspectives From History, Art and Literature

Author Affiliations

Veterans Administration Medical Center Washington, DC

Veterans Administration Medical Center Washington, DC


edited by Anne Hudson Jones, 253 pp, with illus, $42, paper $19.95, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988.

JAMA. 1988;260(15):2303. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410150151051

Images of Nurses is an excellent collection of works, which describe the historical, cultural, and sociological perceptions of nurses beyond the well-known secular imagery of Florence Nightingale. It is a series of essays that journey through time exploring ancient and modern artistic depictions of nurses, critiquing various literary creations of the mythical nurse/woman, and discussing the complex interrelationship between social issues such as racism and sexism and the image of professional nursing.

This book is written by many nonnursing scholars who are prominent in the fields of art, literature, and humanities. These authors provide fascinating views on the continuing development and struggle of nursing to become a valued profession in our society.

The book is divided into three sections. The first part deals with nursing imagery in the visual arts, the second with portrayals of nurses in literature, and the last with the stereotypes of nurses and women in relation