Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nursing History and The Nurse Capping Ceremony and Johnson & Johnson 1949

This beautiful 1949 print from Johnson & Johnson "The Capping Ceremony" is a popular nursing collectible and personal favorite.

Johnson & Johnson has always been supportive of nurses over the years and has produced some of the most beautiful and most cherished nursing collectibles. J.& J. was founded over 120 years ago with the purpose of providing sterile sutures, dressings and bandages. The company has been quick to respond to the the needs of the medical profession and has developed countless new products and continues to be an important part of health care with an ever expanding list of new or improved products.

The support Johnson & Johnson has given nursing is tremendous. The company has provided tens of millions of dollars in grant money to the National League of Nursing and the NLN's Foundation for Nursing Education. J.& J. has teamed up with and lead national nursing campaigns with organisations such as the American Nurses Association to supply recruitment brochures, videos and posters to thousands of high schools and nursing organisations for distribution. They also have provided millions of dollars in grant money the the National Student Nurses' Association and the Foundation for Nursing Education to administer as scholarships to nursing students and prospective facility. Since the early years of  Johnson & Johnson the company has made many beautiful nursing prints, series of prints and collectibles which brings us to this print of "The Capping Ceremony" made in 1949.

The Capping Ceremony has been an important nursing tradition along with Pinning Ceremony since the founding of the first Training Schools. The Capping Ceremony usually took place after six months of training in the Diploma programs and was one of the first, and most important milestones of "nurses' training." After months of "ward" duty and hard work, the Capping Ceremony and the earned right to wear a cap showed the world and yourself that you had been accepted into the folds of the medical field and that you were a "nurse" or at lest well on the way of being one. At the time of this print the Cap was very important to nurses and others at the bedside. The nurses cap at the time, instilled confidence in a sick patient and garnered a certain amount of respect from others at the bedside. The cap was also important to nurses because each school had a distinct one. Nurses could easily identify which school another nurse was from by her cap as well as her pin and it became as we say today her (Brand) as represented by the reputation of her school through her cap.

This print does a wonderful job of capturing the somber importance of the students capping as well as the pride of the instructor and respect shown by the other students. Thank you Johnson & Johnson for preserving a historical time in the history of nursing.                                                                                                                                                                                                          
                                                                                         Vernon Dutton. R.N.


Johnson & Johnson - The Campaign for Nursing's Future

1 comment:

Sharid57 said...

This part of nursing education, or rather this stepping stone in it, has long been my favorite, and I have always been a champion for making its correct significance understood among those not part of its attendance or participation.
It was the beautiful and honored significance of the cap which captured my everlasting attention when I was a little girl of 4 or 5, and made me determined to join the ranks of those eligible to wear it. Unfortunately, personal, financial and other circumstances didn't allow that to happen right out of high school as I had always wanted. But, I did get the opportunity to attend LPN school several years later, only to have that interrupted by the arrival of our first child, a little earlier than we had planned, but I couldn't imagine a more pleasant interruption! I was able to attend past my own capping ceremony, and wear it on clinicals for a few months before setting it aside for more important things.
Other things changed over the years, including my knowledge of an associated career in another area of health care, and I was able to make my way to and successfully through, the education to become a Certified Surgical Technologist when both our children were in middle school. I got to wear another kind of cap each day, and I also had the honor of working side by side with surgeons in the Operating Rooms of the facilities where I worked for over 15 years. I also got to work with nurses every day as part of the team. I can't imagine a more fulfilling collaboration!