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nursing history, IV nursing, technology



  1. Sandelowski, Margarete PhD, RN, FAAN


After World War II, a debate ensued over whether nurses should perform intravenous (IV) therapy. The debate was resolved by permitting nurses to do venipunctures as physicians' agents and by recirculating the familiar tautology: if nurses were already doing venipunctures, they must be simple enough for nurses to do. The vein was a portal of entry for nurses, but one with limited access. What was ultimately ceded to nurses was not full jurisdiction over a domain of nursing practice, but rather a limited settlement in a domain of medical practice. The debate over IV therapy demonstrated how technology, in combination with ideology, can both create and destroy nursing jurisdictions.