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Spanish nursing under Franco: reinvention, modernization and repression (1956–1976)

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MIRÓ M, GASTALDO D, NELSON S and GALLEGO G. Nursing Inquiry 2012; 19: 270–280 Spanish nursing under Franco: reinvention, modernization and repression (1956–1976)

This article examines Spanish nursing during a critical 20‐year period (1956–76) when, under the dictatorial government of General Franco, nursing became the target of a modernization strategy. In the national standardized system of state‐run schools, the previously distinct nursing and midwifery programmes were merged into a new training programme which created the single professional denomination of ATSAyudante Técnico Sanitario (Technical Sanitary Assistant). Under the leadership of medicine, and with the blessing of the Catholic Church and the Sección Femenina (Women’s Section of the Falangist Party), nursing was positioned as feminized and subordinate to medicine, a predominantly male profession in mid‐twentieth century Spain. This article discusses this crucial phase of Spanish nursing history by focusing on one influential historical document (published in 1956), Professional Moral Orientation for the Sanitary Technical Assistants, a nursing textbook on professional morals for first‐year nursing students written by Rosamaria Miranda, a Catholic nun and a trained nurse. Our analysis reveals that gender‐related and technical discourses concerning disciplinary and pastoral power relations presented in this textbook legitimate the core beliefs of Franquism put forward by the politically powerful women’s branch of the ruling Falangist Party in mid‐twentieth century Spain.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Balearic Islands, Balearic Islands, Spain 2: University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Publication date: 01 September 2012

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