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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 86 (March 1947)

[Highlights of policy],   pp. [4]-15 PDF (7.1 MB)

Page 7

organization- elected by the nuvas tkerxki6u
The nurses we aware of the need; for suckz a
body since political interferemme in the pest
few years was great and pmesswe still is
being exerted. Although Army nurses in each
Land were responsible for recognition of the
councils by Military Government and the
Public Health Office, the German nurses
have functioned independent of US opinions.
Each Land in the US Zone has a trained
nurse elected by the German nurses to rep-
resent them in the Ministry of Interior. She
is known as the Land Nurse and advises the
German Public Health Officer on matters of
policy related to the nursing profession and
to the reviewing of plans to insure adequate
nursing staffs. The first meeting of the Zone
Land Nurses was held in Frankfurt 2 April
1946. MG representatives present at the
meeting decided that the German nurses were
not at that time prepared to carry their duties
without the support of an American nurse
representing them at OMGUS - a proposal
also requested by the German nurses them-
The position of the German nurses was
considered too insecure to risk removing the
Army nurses at Land level before June 1946;
they were then replaced by an American
civilian nurse who attends group meetings all
over the Zone, observes, advises, and serves
as a link between the German nurses and
Military Government. Through her, two re-
commendations were made to German nurses
as a whole: That they form a graduate nurses
association embracing members from all
groups with local, regional, and eventually
a national association; and that they include
in their Nurse Practice Act, to be rewritten
and proposed for legislative action, provision
for a board of nurse examiners.
In the United States, such recommenda-
tions would be elementary, but to the Ger-
man nurses they were revolutionary. There
has been great rivalry among the five nurse
groups for many years, and they have learn-
ed to vie with each other for work contracts
and sometimes political favor. Each group
ha gVerbno   itself wbffi the result that no
goup of nurses has governed nursing. The
idea of sitting downi lxgether t& jointly plan
and guide the profession was new to them,
as was the thought that nurses should be
governed by nurses. Without a board of
nurse examiners, nurse supervision over
schools of nursing, or a professional organi-
zation to render advice on nursing, the pro-
fession never could lift its standards on a
nation-wide basis.
It is to the credit of German nurses today
that they are beginning to throw off their
old prejudices and cliques and to assist in
rewriting the Nurse Practice Act. The Ger-
man Land Nurses appeared before the Land
Public Health Committee on 7 February, to
make suggestions. In the past, the nurses
have had no voice in the official supervision
over schools of nursing or official participa-
tion in the state examination of nurses. People
who were not familiar with the first principles
of nursing held the profession in their control.
The Land nurses, therefore, suggested that
they be allowed to assist in the preparation
of the obligatory manual for schools of nurs-
ing and participate in the state examinations;
they asked that the Land Council of Nurses
have official status in guiding the Land
Nurse; that the training course for nurses be
extended over a three-year period and in-
clude four hundred hours of theory; that part
,of the state examination be revised; and that
they work toward an eventual union of
nurses on a voluntary and professional basis.
The recommendations were revolutionary but
there was no apparent opposition from the
Committee. A sub-committee composed of
a member from the Minister of Interior, a
lawyer and the Land nurse was appointed
in each Land to prepare the Act for legis-
lative action.
As the profession advances toward more
democratic methods, officials believe the
more deficient phases of the profession - ad-
vanced education, special fields of nursing,
and public health nursing -will show steady

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