Doris R. Schwartz papers
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing [Contact Us]Claire Fagin Hall, 418 Curie Boulevard, Floor 2U, Philadelphia, PA, 19104-4217
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Doris Schwartz was born in New York in 1915, the daughter of Florence Marie (nee Shuttleworth) and Henry Schwartz. She graduated from Methodist School of Nursing, Brooklyn, New York in 1942. Schwartz obtained her Bachelor of Science degree (1953) and Master of Arts (1958) degree with majors in public health nursing from New York University's School of Education. As part of her educational field experience requirement, she became the first American exchange nurse in public health in rural Sweden. Her contributions to nursing literature include landmark research, curricular innovations, and a strong philosophical framework for community health and gerontologic nursing.
Following her graduation from nursing school, Schwartz worked for the Brooklyn Visiting Nurse Association in the Red Hook district until she entered the U.S. Army Nurse Corps (1943) where she served four and a half years, including an eight-month assignment on the Marigold, an Army hospital ship in the Pacific. After discharge from the Army in 1947 she returned to the Brooklyn Visiting Nurse Association, resigning in 1951 to take a position with Cornell University School of Nursing and a joint appointment at the Cornell Medical College.
Schwartz served at Cornell for twenty-nine years as clinical instructor, coordinator for nursing in the Comprehensive Care and Teaching Program, researcher in Ambulatory Care, and consultant to the Cornell Medical College Navajo Field Health Program. She was appointed associate professor of nursing for community health (1963) and co-director for the Family Nurse Practitioner (1972) and the Geriatric Nurse Practitioner programs (1977). Between 1955-1993 she wrote numerous scholarly articles, papers and books, especially in the field of gerontology, and firmly established her reputation as one who recognized nursing problems of patients and enjoyed describing and investigating them.
In 1980, following a stroke, Schwartz retired from Cornell University and relocated to Foulkeways in Gwynedd, Pennsylvania, and became associated with the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing as a Senior Fellow with the Gerontology Nursing Program. Throughout her career Schwartz actively served in many professional nursing associations, professional organizations, and received honors and awards for her contributions to the health care field. Her book, Give Us to Go Blithely, recounts her fifty years in nursing.
This collection spans Schwartz's professional life documenting her nursing experience and association with the Cornell University School of Nursing. Her earlier experiences are recounted in a series of taped interviews (both audio and video). The collection includes training and research development reports and grants and published and unpublished manuscripts. The collection includes a compilation from Schwartz's diary and her recollections from her fifty years in nursing.
Gift of Susan Reverby.
- University of Pennsylvania: Barbara Bates Center for the Study of The History of Nursing
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- Finding aid prepared by Center staff, updated by Bethany Myers
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This collection is unrestricted.
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This series contains documents of Schwartz's biographical information, curriculum vitae, awards and correspondence involving her activities with community and individual health needs. Also, there is a complete listing of published books, sections of chapters in books, articles and indexed book review lists of Schwartz's writings (1945-1984).
Included in this series are teaching methods, student’s reports, as well as Schwartz's activities with geriatric workshops both in U.S. and abroad, and associates.
. This series documents Schwartz's involvement in research and training programs, such as Navajo-Cornell Field Health Research Project, geriatric nurse practitioners and family nurse practitioners, also the Faculty Research Development Grant Report.
This series documents Schwartz's reputation as "One recognizing nursing problems of patients, investigating them, writing and informing others of the need for change.” It includes address, articles, testimony, to editors, and her published book Fifty Years of Nursing (later published under the title Give Us to Go Blithely, in 1990).
This series includes books and articles collected and given to Schwartz by colleagues and friends. Records of Public Nursing, (1922), a rare British reprint of A Collection of the Yearly Bills of Mortality, London, 1657-1750, and “Foulkeways Bulletin,” 1983-1995, are in this series.
Included are four audiotapes and one videotape that document a series of interviews with Schwartz. These interviews were conducted by historian Susan Reverby and explore Schwartz's personal and professional experiences.
Part of the Schwartz interview is on two tapes in the Claire M. Fagin Papers, MC 95, Series 7, Box 30.
These tapes highlight Schwartz's career as a nurse. On the first tape she relates her Army nursing experiences during World War II. She tells why she enlisted in the army, and then details the three different phases of her stay in the army-- first as head nurse of a forty-five bed amputee ward at Mitchell Field Hospital in Long Island, New York, which was a temporary hospital for soldiers returning from the war in Europe; when she was stationed on the Marigold, an army hospital ship that sailed the Pacific Ocean; and after the war as head nurse for eighteen months at Percy Jones Military Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan, a 2000-bed rehabilitative facility for veterans of the war. During the first two interviews, Schwartz describes the everyday occurrences in hospitals during the war and the training she received in order to work at each place. For the third period, Schwartz relates the history of rehabilitative hospitals and the effects that this interview had on her later career.
Schwartz comments on the effects that the army nurses had on civilian nursing and describes trends such as the increasing specialization of the nursing profession along with the creation of new jobs (such as nurse clinicians) after World War II. Also discussed is the growing independence of nursing during this time period and criticism of this change.
In the remainder of the tapes, Schwartz narrates events in her life after the army such as working for the American Journal of Nursing under Mary Roberts while finishing her nursing studies at New York University. She describes being a part of the pioneering program that combined the Visiting Nurse Association of Brooklyn at Red Hook with the New York City Health Department's program in 1946-1947. She mentions receiving a Rockefeller Fellowship for a program at the University of Toronto that trained future leaders in nursing from around the world, and being the staff nurse for the ten-year Comprehensive Care and Teaching Program at Cornell University's Medical School, which trained medical students to become generalists instead of specialists. Schwartz discusses the innovative aspects of the program, its influences, and why it existed and eventually disappeared. Schwartz also describes her gerontology study of 1961 which was one of the first research projects done by a nurse on the effects of aging.
These tapes detail visiting nurse societies and public health nursing and how they evolved during the 1960s and 1970s. Among changes mentioned are the proprietarization of home care, the intervention of the government through Medicare, and the increasing administrative atmosphere of the visiting nurse societies.
This series consists of photographs of family members and individual portraits of Schwartz from 1915-1982. The remaining are group pictures taken during World War II, nursing school 50th class reunion, Schwartz's last class at Cornell University, School of Nursing and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Included in the series are pictures pertaining to Frontier Nursing Service, Leslie County, Kentucky, 1930s, and Navajo-Cornell Field Health Project, 1955.
A small series which includes a scrapbook of newspaper clippings of World War II nursing service to casualties and veterans as well as reprints of articles and papers written by Schwartz.