The Rockefeller Foundation and Professionalization of Nursing in West Germany

by Susanne Kreutzer

Jan 1, 2011
Well into the early 1950s, West German nursing was influenced by the large confessional motherhouse, the sisterhoods of Caritas, the Inner Mission, and their tenet of Christian charity. A "good" nurse was primarily "good at heart," and tradition had it that a nurse's heart was not educated through theoretical instruction, but through practical nursing tasks and by participation in the community of sisters. The lessons offered at the nursing schools that were attached to hospitals were of minor importance. This strong emphasis on practical experience did not only apply to basic nursing training, but even head nurses and nursing teachers were considered qualified because they had years of practical experience, not because they could provide evidence of having attended advanced training courses.
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