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Am J Nurs. 2019 Jul;119(7):46-52. doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000569444.12412.89.

Rising to the Challenge: Re-Embracing the Wald Model of Nursing.

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Patricia Pittman is a professor of health policy and management and the director of the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, Washington, DC. Contact author: The author has disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.


: By the 1920s, Lillian Wald's model of care, with nurses working side by side with social workers at the intersection of medicine and society, had become an important component of the U.S. health care system. Over subsequent decades, however, a confluence of historic forces resulted in its marginalization. Today, people are recognizing that medical cures alone, although important, will not reduce the epidemic of diseases of despair or the growing challenges involved in achieving health equity. Wald's approach, extended to a broader range of settings in which nurses work today, could be the missing ingredient.To provide background for the National Academy of Medicine Committee on the Future of Nursing 2020-2030, as it develops its follow-up to the Institute of Medicine's 2010 Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation commissioned a report on nursing's historic role in advancing health. This article summarizes that report, which can be found in its entirety at

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