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This work puts into context the historical factors which have shaped and sometimes limited the development of nurse education. It makes a critical reappraisal of Florence Nightingale's vision of nursing and looks at how training and policy-making have evolved from the origins of hospital reform in the 1860s to the start of the National Health Service in 1948. Highlighting the contemporary issues confronting all those in training, the book questions the extent to which nursing fits into the mould of both a profession and an academic discipline. Based on research, it is intended as a resource for nursing students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.