Becoming professionalized
La Motte and nursing, 1898–1913
in Ellen N. La Motte
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Chapter 1 examines the milieu in which La Motte studied, the Johns Hopkins Training School for Nurses, where she began a curriculum that reflected the school’s desire to professionalize nursing and teach the latest nursing standards. Many of the women associated with the nursing school in its early years were also involved in social reform, and the models they provided of socially engaged nursing practitioners undoubtedly had a profound effect on La Motte as she eventually found her place in the anti-tuberculosis campaign in Baltimore, first as a visiting district nurse and then as an executive in the Health Department. It also discusses her development as a writer and speaker after her graduation from nursing school and examines her writings, such as her published articles about the best approaches to tuberculosis nursing, to see how she positioned herself in the debates about the most effective ways to combat tuberculosis as she developed her public voice as a nurse and reformer in these years. Through an examination of these issues, the chapter builds a picture of how La Motte progressed professionally through her work as a vocal advocate for public health.

Ellen N. La Motte

Nurse, writer, activist

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