Beyond Nightingale examines nursing in the five armies involved in the Crimean War (1853-56), exploring the politically driven, government-imposed nursing service of the British - resistant to the introduction of female nurses; the religious nursing Sisters in the British, French, and Piedmont-Sardinian armies; and doctor-directed nursing in the Ottoman, British, and Russian armies. The first book to explore the inception of modern nursing from a transnational perspective, it is also the first to study the development of military nursing within the broader context of the different political, social and economic cultures from which modern nursing arose.
The book examines the various historiographical debates regarding Crimean nurses and the value that the military placed on their work. Helmstadter narrates the compelling account of the significant contributions allied and Russian nurses made during the Russian defence of Sevastopol. Analysing the terrible disadvantages the Russian military experienced when battling industrialized armies as a result of their pre-industrial, agrarian economy, the book explores how the Russians developed the most innovative system of nursing. Beyond Nightingale offers an in-depth study of nursing within the context of mid-nineteenth century understandings of health care. The field hospitals where some nurses worked under direct fire stand as an excellent example of the competency of these mid-nineteenth century nurses.
Written in accessible language, this book provides an in-depth and unique study of military nursing for all levels of students of nursing history, medical history, and women's studies. Helmstadter illustrates the barriers - many of which still exist today - which nurses had to overcome to gain recognition of the crucial role they played in the war. As such, Beyond Nightingale serves as an essential read for individuals interested in the fields of sociology, history, and gender studies.