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Preface Over time conversations with friends who are nurses and my experiences on health care boards that included nurses revealed a striking lack of political consciousness on the part of representatives of the nursing profession. This shortcoming and its high cost to the profession were startling to me, even though I was aware that professional leaders for some time have been writing about the price of political insensitivity and the minimal response to their warnings. My curiosity was stimulated and this book is the result. In an attempt to understand the category’s behavior, this effort focuses on a primary socialization agent to the profession: nursing faculty members. Their culture, values and role modeling are critical determinants of the behavior of nurses on the political stage. Given the sparse interaction between the social sciences and nursing, my intention was to write a work of use to two constituencies: students of the social sciences and health care. I wanted to familiarize those in health care with certain basic political science concepts and to expose those in the social sciences to some fundamentals of the nursing profession . I hope I have achieved my goal. In writing this book I was fortunate to be able to draw on the talents of several capable individuals. Two persons who might have been coauthors had not distance, new responsibilities, and a change in career paths occurred must be singled out for attention. I had the pleasure of sharing many a dinner and hours of telephone conversation with Mary Germain, associate professor, State University of New ix York, Downstate Medical Center, College of Nursing. We discussed at length many of the topics covered in this book. She was important to the undertaking in its initial stages and especially in the development and distribution of the questionnaire that served as the basis for this study. James Wehrli, a fellow political scientist and close friend, played a significant role in the early research facet of the project. He was imaginative, exacting and thorough. I am also grateful to him for his assistance in the preparation of the data for analysis. Others have been of aid in diverse ways. Cathryne A. Welch, former executive director of the New York State Nurses Association and now the executive director of the Foundation of the New York State Nurses Association, has been a special friend for many years as well as a mentor. She has served as a sounding board for many of the ideas in this book and interpreted for me some of the survey results. Also Marie Reed, former executive director of the American Nurses Credentialing Center, lent me her ear and shared her valuable insights on the national nursing scene. My husband, Stephen Koff, also a political scientist, had a significant role in the preparation of this work. In addition to his active encouragement, he did so many things that made this project much easier and more fun than it might have been. Even though he works in a different field, he provided valuable observations and ideas. Playing devil’s advocate, he proficiently used his penchant to ask the right questions. His perspective was extremely useful. Ida Benderson, volunteer extraordinaire, is responsible for launching my contacts with the world of nursing. To her I am indebted because these have provided me not only many hours of hard work, but much enjoyment and many rewards. I must also recognize those nurse educators who took the time to complete the survey instrument and those who contacted me with their personal comments. The United University Professions provided a research grant. Professional colleagues, on a variety of health care boards on which I have served as a public member, have been more than willing to entertain my ideas, respond to my questions, and share their experiences. Never have I been treated as an outsider or intruder. Being able to pursue a study of the Italian nursing profession as I was writing this book has afforded me the opportunity to develop professional relationships with practitioners in that nation who quickly became friends. Conversations with Tina Ernesta Galli, Lida Intrieri, JoAnn Lindsay, Anna Maria Olivieri, and Angela Panini have x Preface provided a wealth of discussion. Their questions about the American nursing profession forced me to think about it in another context. Responses to these questions and to mine about Italian nursing indicate that many of the points raised in this work are applicable to the Italian scene. I am also indebted to the late Piero...


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