The European Journal for Nursing History and Ethics is an interdisciplinary Open Access and peer-reviewed eJournal spanning the Humanities, Nursing Science, Social Sciences, and Cultural Studies. The journal is published online once a year with each edition having an individual theme. In addition, all volumes provide an open section that contains articles on various topics.

The Journal is seeking contributions both to

  • the open section and
  • themed section.


Theme 2021: Shortage of Nurses from a Historical and Ethical Perspective

Deadline for Abstracts: June 30th, 2019

Complaints about the lack of staff mark both the history and present time in nursing in many European countries. The variety of possible areas of work rarely seems to be met with a sufficient number of nursing staff. Yet we can detect phases of more intense perceptions of crises in which at times even transnational shortages of nursing staff are announced. The third issue of the European Journal for Nursing History and Ethics is dedicated to the historical and ethical dimensions of these shortages of nurses and their meaning for the development of nursing.

Potential questions for articles:

  • Which times of distinct shortages of nurses can be historically detected and which causes can be identified? To what extent were these transnational phenomena?
  • In current social scientific debates the redistribution of care work has been globally discussed under the term Global Care Chain (Arlie Hochschild). The increasing employment of women in first world countries would lead to an increasing demand for care workers that would be largely filled by female migrants from poorer countries. How can these processes be put into a historical context?
  • How did the perceptions of nurse shortages arise and who promoted them? How did the issue became a social-political agenda item (if applicable)? Which forms of scandalisation proved to be particularly successful?
  • What exactly was perceived as a shortage? Did it have primarily to do with quantity (the shortage of staff in total) or quality (lack of well-trained personnel) or was the issue the consequences of insufficient supplies for the staff (i.e. overstretched staff or an increasing flight from the job)?
  • Which ethical dimension had an impact on the perception of a shortage, both with regard to providing the necessary framework for good care and to treating the staff well?
  • What did the daily working life look like in times of shortages? How did the nurses deal with the stressful situation?
  • Which suggestions were put forward to remedy the shortage of nurses and how were they discussed?
  • What measures to rectify the shortages of nurses were implemented and what were the consequences?

Please note the following remarks on the concept of the European Journal for Nursing History and Ethics: 


The journal creates a dialogue between the history and the ethics of nursing while providing new impulses for advancing the subfields of the history as well as the ethics of nursing. Historians are asked to include the ethical dimension of the topic into their research project; researchers interested in ethics are requested to reflect on the historical dimensions of their projects. This does not mean, however, that articles on ethics should be preceded by a historical overview in the style of a manual. Rather the latest developments and socio-political debates that have led to the current issues in the ethics of nursing should be put in their historical context and be used in the analysis. Likewise papers on the history of nursing should address ethical questions within the historical context or refer to current issues in the ethics of nursing. The journal publishes research both on European History and the history of the reciprocal relationships and entanglements of European and non-European societies.

The journal only publishes original contributions. The authors agree when submitting their script that their text has not already been submitted or published elsewhere.

Please submit your abstract (max 500 words) in English and separately a short CV by June 30th, 2019 to Prof. Dr. Susanne Kreutzer: kreutzer(at)fh-muenster.de and Prof. Dr. Karen Nolte: karen.nolte(at)histmed.uni-heidelberg.de