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Oct 27 2020

MNHRC Fall Event: Early 20th century nursing correspondence courses

October 27, 2020

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Virtual via Zoom



Decades-old advertisement for nurse education program

April D. Matthias, PhD, RN, CNE, will present, "Early 20th century nursing correspondence courses: Claiming space within the history of nursing education."

This event is hosted by the Midwest Nursing History Research Center.

Opposition to the early 20th century correspondence courses for nursing has resulted in negative, if any, mention in nursing history narratives. Correspondence courses challenged organized nursing's efforts to standardize nursing education. To date, analysis of these correspondence courses has not occurred or been disseminated. Without such rigorous analysis, the value, or the place and space for correspondence courses within nursing education’s history, remain unclear. This presentation describes the quality elements of the curriculum, and perspectives and experiences of the students, within the early 20th century context of nursing education and practice. The findings of this analysis demonstrate the import of correspondence courses within the history of nursing education.

Zoom link will be provided upon registration.



Gwyneth Milbrath

Date posted

Oct 2, 2020

Date updated

Oct 31, 2022


April D. Matthias | University of North Carolina Wilmington

April Matthias is an associate professor and the program coordinator for the Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Educator program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Waynesburg University, her master’s degree in nursing education from Duke University, and her PhD in nursing from East Carolina University. She is a Certified Nurse Educator with the National League for Nursing and has been a nurse educator for 20 years. Matthias also is a past recipient of the Karyn & Terrance Holm Visiting Scholar Award. Matthias’ program of research focuses on the professional identity and role development of the nurse through various pedagogies and educational pathways. Her nursing history research has included study of early diploma, baccalaureate, accelerated baccalaureate, and associate degree programs. At this lecture, she will present her most recent study of early 20th century nursing correspondence courses, the earliest form of distance education for nursing.