A woman in a surgical mask.Screening the Nurse: Film, Fear, and Narrative from the 1940s to the 1970ssNEWEST ESSAY
By David Cantor, PhD
In the early decades of the twentieth century, American nursing leaders came to see the motion picture as a quintessentially modern instrument of education, training, and recruitment. In their view, movies were a powerful tool to transform public opinion about nursing, to instruct new recruits in the mysteries of nursing practice, and to keep the qualified nurse abreast of new developments in the field. The result was that many hundreds of films were produced by nurses, hospitals, health departments, and nursing schools.