Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Industrial Education and Technology


Practical nursing education existed in Iowa as early as 1891 within some of the state institutions for the insane. These programs were intended to provide a work force for the institution, rather than an educational opportunity for students. State licensure for practical nurses was not imposed until 1949. Interest in the development of practical nursing programs in the mid 1940s was a direct result of the severe shortage of nursing students. The first program established for the purpose of educating students to comply with state licensure was the Mercedian School of Practical Nursing at Marshalltown. Unlike practical nursing programs in other parts of the United States, Iowa programs began under hospital control rather than community agencies;The adult Education Departments of Iowa public schools were interested in cooperating with local hospitals in establishing practical nurse programs. However, the second program in practical nursing was established in connection with the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. This demonstration program was considered to be an adjunct of the department rather than an integral part;The growing interest in establishing practical nursing programs caused the Iowa Board of Nursing to be concerned about the 'mushrooming,' of practical nurse programs. This concern was justified following the 1965 establishment of Area Vocational Technical Schools. The area schools recognized the attraction of health careers for students, the community needs, and the availability of funding for such programs. Practical nursing education in Iowa is, for the most part, under the direction of the Health Occupations Division of the State Department of Public Instruction;In 1962, Fort Dodge Community college established the first associate degree nursing program in Iowa. By 1967, the Health Occupations Division of the State Department of Public Instruction assisted Iowa area vocational technical schools in establishing associate degree nursing programs which followed an altered curriculum model developed earlier by Mildred Montag. The career ladder curriculum approach to nursing education was established in 1970 in Iowa's nursing programs;No single force, economic, social, scientific, technological, or consciousness to reduce human suffering, singularly provided the impetus to originate, sustain and improve nursing education, but rather it was the slow and deliberate integration of all these forces which tended to win public acceptance and support for better health services. This process will not end in our time. Improved health services have been evolutionary rather than revolutionary in nature.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Donna Ketchum Story



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File Size

311 pages