41st Annual Nursing & Health Care History Conference

Registration coming soon!

Eleanor Hermann Keynote Speaker


Cynthia Connolly, PhD, RN

Professor of Nursing
Rosemarie B. Greco Endowed Term Chair in Advocacy
University of Pennsylvania
School of Nursing

Title: “Nurses and Drug Therapy: A Complicated and Untold Twentieth Century History”

Synopsis: Medication (Drug) therapy is considered central to the expertise of registered nurses.  Learning about medications and how to administer them via different routes is a core task of undergraduate nursing education. Staff nurses in hospital settings spend a great deal of their time preparing, administering, and assessing the effects of medications.  But very little of the historical research into the history of drug therapy in the United States even mentions nurses. There is little in the nursing historical literature as well. This talk aims to address this gap by examining the role of nurses in drug development, testing, and administration across the twentieth century.

Bio: Historian and pediatric nurse practitioner Cynthia Connolly PhD RN is the Rosemarie B. Greco Term Endowed Professor in Advocacy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. At Penn, she is also Co-Faculty Director at the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice, and Research. She received her BSN from the University of Pennsylvania, MSN from the University of Rochester, and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and a legislative fellowship in the office of Paul Wellstone in the US Senate. Connolly’s research analyzes the historical forces that have shaped children’s health care delivery and family policy in the United States. Her body of work also traces changing pediatric medical and nursing practice in the United States since the Civil War with an emphasis on shifting norms for clinical practice, including evolving diagnostic categories, clinical assessment and treatment. Her 2018 book, Children and Drug Safety: Balancing Risk and Protection in Twentieth Century America, published by Rutgers University Press received the American Public Health Association’s Viseltear Award. It was funded through a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research grant and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. An earlier book, Saving Sickly Children: The Tuberculosis Preventorium in American Life, 1909–1970 received the Lavinia Dock Award from the American Association for the History of Nursing. She has presented the implications of her historical analyses to such stakeholders as the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control, and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives as well as at many international, national, and regional academic venues.


HIT RECORD: A Pre-Conference Session on Oral-History Interviewing
Thursday, September 19th
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Co-Presenters: Karen Flynn (University of Illinois-Chicago), Ashley Graham-Perel (Columbia), and Andre Rosario (Rutgers)

Are you a budding, novice, or experienced historian interested in using oral history as a method and source but not sure where to begin? Or are you currently engaged in historical research, striving to uncover individual viewpoints and perspectives, but finding that the
traditional archives fall short? This Pre-Conference is tailor-made for you!

Join us for a hands-on, interactive session where we'll delve into oral history, the oldest form of historical inquiry. We'll cover critical topics such as leveraging oral history to complement archival research, ethical considerations in interviewing, and
techniques for analyzing interviews.

Don't miss out! Be sure to add the Pre-Conference to your AAHN Conference registration to secure your spot!

Milwaukee Marriott Downtown

Book your hotel room now by using the link below.


Reservation deadline is August 26, 2024

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