• Artwork by Marcia Blaessle (1956–1983), „Prinzhorn Collection Heidelberg” in Germany

    Suicide as a Challenge in Psychiatric Nursing
    Vol. 5 (2023)

    The focus of the 2023 issue is on suicide as a challenge for psychiatric nursing. The idea for the theme is based on the international conference „Suicide and its Prevention: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives in Nursing, 1880–2020“, which took place from 19-21 May 2022 in Leiden, the Netherlands, and was conceived by Cecile aan de Stegge and Manon Parry and organized in cooperation with the „European Association for the History of Nursing". The articles focus on how suicide was addressed in the context of psychiatric institutions in the 19th and 20th centuries and the challenges faced by nursing staff in dealing with suicides.

  • Nursing Care in Times of Epidemics and Pandemics – Historical and Ethical Issues
    Vol. 4 (2022)

    Applauded as “silent heroes” on balconies at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses in various European countries spoke out as the pandemic progressed to highlight their precarious working conditions and their importance in combating the pandemic. A number of nursing ethics problems arose from the lack of sufficiently qualified nursing staff in intensive care, the lack of material equipment in hospitals and the inadequate working conditions in long-term care: How can a fair distribution of resources be ensured under pandemic conditions? How do nursing professionals deal with the fact that they were unable to meet the demands for professional and, in this sense, good nursing care? (The keywords “missed nursing care” and “moral distress” may be mentioned here.) How can nursing care do justice to vulnerable and elderly people under pandemic conditions (and, in the future, also in the event of epidemically occurring, dangerous infectious diseases), when their liberties must be restricted for their own protection? The fourth issue of the European Journal for Nursing History and Ethics focusses on how nurses have dealt with epidemics and endemic diseases in specific – historical as well as current – political and social settings.

    Photo: Federica, Milan, Italy 2020. © European Association for Nursing History:


  • Nursing: Traditions, Ruptures and Specialisations
    Vol. 3 (2021)

    What does a suitcase with glass objects and a strange apparatus have to do with nursing history? The photo for the third issue of the European Journal for Nursing History and Ethics, illustrates a new section in our journal. Under ‘Lost & Found’, objects, texts, pictures or other material remains (e. g. vaccination certificates) relevant to nursing history can be presented and scientifically analysed. The objects in this issue originated in the context of outpatient care.

    The articles for the main section of the issue are based on contributions from the International Conference on the History of Nursing organised by the Italian Nurses' Association/Nursing History Group in Florence, Italy, February 13–15, 2020. Selected other contributions have been added. Due to the very broad range of topics covered at the conference, this issue does not follow the usual organisation into themed and open sections.

    Photo: © Sabine Schlegelmilch

  • Bads in Nursing Ethics, History and Historiography
    Vol. 2 (2020)

    The question of what constitutes good care and how the understanding of this varies historically and culturally is the subject of intensive reflections on the history and ethics of care. Less attention, however, is paid to negative experiences in nursing care. According to the Dutch philosopher Annemarie Mol such experiences are termed ambiguously as “bads” in care: “There is something else that bothers me. It is that somehow writing about the goods of care is just too nice. Too cosy. There are also bads to address, but how to do so?” (Mol 2010)

    The second issue of the European Journal for Nursing History and Ethics is related to the International Conference “’Bads’ in healthcare: Negative experience as an impetus to reform in nineteenth and twentieth centuries” organised by the Swiss Society of the History of Health and Nursing, 21/22 June 2018 in Winterthur, Switzerland. The aim of the conference was to enlarge our understanding of how nurses were interlinked with “bads” in healthcare, of how they addressed and responded to negative experiences and how they contributed to the reform of healthcare in the 19th and 20th centuries.

    --- Photo: Nurse of the Pitkäniemi Mental Asylum, 1905-1915, Collection: “Photos of Pitkäniemi Mental Asylum” (1171:22), Museum Centre Vapriikki, Tampere, Finland

  • Material Care Studies
    Vol. 1 (2019)

    The first issue of the European Journal for Nursing History and Ethics focuses on a young and innovative field of nursing research: research on the objects of nursing, for which Lucia Artner and Isabel Atzl coined the term “Material Care Studies” in their leading article in this issue. The “Practice Turn” in recent years has shifted the focus not only towards the practices of nursing but also its objects.

    Simultaneously, dealing with and using objects in nursing always also implies an ethical dimension in the relationship between nurse and patient: One might think of handling modesty and disgust when using instruments for emptying a patient’s bowels or of the implementation and daily management of a feeding tube for artificial feeding.

    Photo: © Thomas Bruns