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American Civil War nursing, caring, historicizing lived experience, phenomenology



  1. Cordeau, Mary Ann PhD, RN


The purpose of this article is to describe a method used to historicize the lived experience of nurse caring by the culture of white Northern women during the American Civil War. Primary sources included unpublished and published Civil War letters, journals, diaries, memoirs, reminiscences, narratives, and records from 1861 through 1911. The phenomenological description was created using van Manen's approach for hermeneutic phenomenology and Drew's method for examining the researcher's preunderstanding of a phenomenon. The phenomenological description was historicized using Scott's concept of historicizing and Leininger's Sunrise Model as a framework. The method used to historicize the lived experience of American Civil War nurse caring provides a foundation for examining American nurse caring in other time periods in order to reveal the phenomenon of nurse caring during these periods as well as the cultural and social forces that have shaped American Nursing.