Men in Nursing Historical Timeline

The world's first nursing school founded in India about 250 B.C. Only men were considered "pure" enough to become nurses.

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@dong bagohan

There's a great thread on your predicament. Navigate to Nursing Discussions By Region/International Nursing/Philippine Nursing Forum/To All Pinoy RN's - Pls Read !!! Useful links there, too.


1 Post


I registered only to get a useful reference about James Derham.

I'm studying nursing in Stockholm Karolinska, and wish to get something more about nursing history than "digest" from nightingale.

Is there a book that describe in detail Derham's life ? A book that I can use as a reference.


66 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

It is interesting how, according to nursing school, the nursing pofession always seems to start with nightingale.

I was not aware that nursing was a predominately male practice before the civil war.

Very useful information

cjcsoon2bnp, MSN, RN, NP

8 Articles; 1,156 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

This is certainly very interesting. I agree with the user who said that this should write a book about this.

!Chris :specs:


63 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, Education, and Acute Care.
Aaron86 said:
It is interesting how, according to nursing school, the nursing pofession always seems to start with nightingale.

I was not aware that nursing was a predominately male practice before the civil war.

Very useful information

Despite the good that Florence did for the nursing profession, along with it came some things that were not-so-good. For example, the belief and subsequent stereotyping of nurses as female and a handmaiden or servant to the physician. This had many long standing ramifications that are still being fought back against today.

One of the best things that could happen to nursing today, as a profession, is for the general public to be educated to the fact that nursing has only been female dominated over the last century or so. There are many advantages of a heterozygous nursing culture that we are unable to take advantage of because of the sexual polarity within the profession and public education could go a long way towards resolving this issue.

It is time we move past the sexism and advance our profession to the truly enlightened status that it deserves.

Specializes in ER, Perioperative. Has 10 years experience.

SO GLAD to see this on here. Probably no one but male nurses is reading it, which is too bad... I HATE the exclusive emphasis on Florence Nightingale, like she was the only person from the dawn of time, to ever start organized caregiving! Florence Nightingale is NOT why I went into nursing. As a nurse and as a woman, I think the emphasis on her holds the profession back.


155 Posts

I think one of my favorite male nurses do to the depth of his compassion was Walt Whitman 1819-1892. He became a nurse after seeing the wounded after a battle in the Civil War while looking for his brother. He served as a nurse to the US Army out of Washington DC and his remembrances of those time are detailed in his work Specimen days which can be read in full These are just short insights he made during the civil war.

AN interesting article that weaves Whiman in with Barton and Dix and Nursing at that time.


8 Posts

Specializes in Every department except OB..

"But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed , came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed , he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more , when I come again , I will repay thee." - (Luke 10:33-35)

This was not only one of the first examples of male nursing, but also the dawn of co-pay and emergency transport, AND patients confusing a hospital with a hotel....:smokin:


14 Posts

Wow, it's great to read about the history

Home Health Columnist / Guide


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Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 46 years experience.

Bump...great reading

Specializes in Trauma, ER, ICU, CCU, PACU, GI, Cardiology, OR. Has 55 years experience.

Needless to say, Magnificent article plus this brings a sincere satisfactory feeling to know that the new generation is more accepting to our contribution in our beloved nursing career... Wishing all of the nurses around the world a great nurses week....Aloha~?

BrentRN, PhD

57 Posts

Specializes in Pediatric Nursing and Educational Technology. Has 39 years experience.

The US nursing schools for men in the first part of the 20th century were for psychiatric care. It was considered "more manly" and cerebral, plus in an age without many psych meds it was important to be stronger than your patients.