Biography of Frances Payne Bolton Term Paper

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World War II Nurse, Frances Payne Bolton

This paper presents a detailed biography of the World War II Nurse, Frances Payne Bolton. The writer examines her life as a youngster and a young adult, which led her to the nursing career she made such a difference in. The writer describes the improvements that Bolton made as well as the positions that she held during her illustrious life. There were ten sources used to complete this paper.

Biography of Frances Payne Bolton

The field of nursing has seen some major changes over the years. Before the era of WWII nurses were viewed with about the same level of expertise as a candy striper. Nurses were dispensing meds and cleaning out bedpans but their skills and intelligence were not really utilized on the job. Because of the inability to expand their job or the expectations of their job the filed stagnated for many years. Then Frances Payne Bolton entered the scene. France Payne Bolton was a nurse who took the bull by the horns and brought about changes that would revolutionize the nursing industry. She was a woman of strength and character matched only by her determination. Her lifetime achievements and accomplishments underscore the important work she did in the health care industry. Frances Payne Bolton was one of the most important assets to the nursing field in American history.

Because nursing is about caring, it is important to know who Frances Payne Bolton was, before she decided to become a nurse. Often times childhood experiences and ideas lead those to the profession that make the biggest difference.

She was born on March 29, 1885 in Cleveland, Ohio. Her father, Charles William Bolton spent his adult career as a well-recognized and important banker-industrialist (Tingling, 1986). He did extremely well in his field and Frances was fortunate enough to grow up in a mansion named the Perry Mansion. Her mother, Mary Payne Bingham was a well-respected socialite whose family had provided quite well for her while she grew up. Unfortunately Frances's mother died when Frances was only 13 years old, leaving many later to wonder if the loss of her mother did not spurn her to choose a career in which people are helped and healed (Tingling, 1986).

She was educated at Hathaway Brown School and attended Miss Spence's School for Girls in New York City from 1902-1904. She also studied music in France, for at one time she had wanted to pursue a singing career (Frances Payne Bolton ("

Frances got her first taste of nursing when she worked as a volunteer in the Visiting Nurse Association. Frances would make the rounds with the nurses as they went to poor neighborhoods and deliver health care to those who were to poor or to ill to go to a doctor (Semmes, 1996). With this as her first nursing contact Frances made the connection between nursing and providing care and human treatment to everyone regardless of their circumstance. This was another possible light on the path to her becoming the respected professional that she became (McGowen, 2000).

Mrs. Bolton belonged to a 'Brownie Club' (nothing to do with the Girl Scouts) where ten-year-olds used to get together and make souvenirs (e.g. towels, pin cushions, etc.) which they sold and sent the money to the mountain people in Appalachia (Frances Payne Bolton ( Brownie Club members grew up they continued to get together and, by the age of 18, adopted the Visiting Nurse Association as their charity and made dressings and bandages for the nurses to use when they attended the sick in their homes (Frances Payne Bolton (" "The young debutantes were very active in the community. Mrs. Bolton was not satisfied with making dressings, so at age 18 she started going with the visiting nurses when they made calls on the poor sick. 'Many a time,' Mrs. Bolton said, 'I scrubbed kids in the slums.' This experience with the Visiting Nurse Association helped her to develop a philosophy: 'You must give something to someone to be happier, especially when that gift is your own time and strength.' This philosophy guided her throughout her life (Frances Payne Bolton ("

Frances got married to Chester in 1904 but remained an active part of her previous civic life. The real turning point in her work in nursing came when she was asked to present a speech about the conditions of working nurses in the nation. She spoke before a Board of Trustees at a Hospital and they were so impressed with her candid review of what nurses go through that they provided funds to expand their nursing program (Frances Payne Bolton ( from the beginning that to get her point across she had to be forceful and knowledgeable about what she presented. It was a trademark that follower her for the rest of her life and served her in such a capacity that she was able to change many aspects of nursing for the better (Frances Payne Bolton (

During WWI Bolton was a key figure in the persuasion of the Secretary of War to set up a school for nursing students of war. Until then the war effort had to rely on well meaning but uneducated volunteers (Frances Payne Bolton ( program was to train and provide nurses who were educated and able to handle the specific needs of war health care.

This contribution to the nursing field garnered her a position on the board of trustees at Lakeside Hospital in 1921 and while there she saw to it that funding was provided to endow a School of Nursing at Western Reserve University. Bolton built on the belief that nurses should not only have nursing training but also a college education so that they would be well rounded and able to relate to all types of patients as well as health care professionals (Frances Payne Bolton (

Her substantial donation enabled the University to raise the School of Nursing from a department of the College of Women to the rank of a separate college at the University in 1923. In June 1935, it was renamed the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing in honor of her continued support and interest (Frances Payne Bolton ("

Bolton was one of the chief proponents of providing a means to education for nurses to attain. When her husband died she took his place as a congressperson and later was elected. She spent many years as a politician and her platform and foundational belief was to work for the betterment of the education and abilities of nursing professionals. Bolton often reminded those that she spoke in front of that if she were to take ill she would only want an educated and professional nurse by her side as opposed to the well-meaning volunteers of yesteryear. Her continued support of the education of the nation's nurse attracted many other political supporters and the cause grew to a nationwide standard of delivering health care that has remained in effect even today (Frances Payne Bolton (

Mrs. Bolton did not just publicly discuss her interest in nursing. She was actively involved in promoting the profession at the national level (Frances Payne Bolton (" "In 1942 a bill was passed at the instigation of Mrs. Bolton to give the nurses in the military regular officer status, including pay equal with that of male officers. Prior to that they held the same rank and received less pay and fewer privileges (Frances Payne Bolton (" "In 1943 she promoted the Nurse Cadet Corps, public law #74, known as the Bolton Act, which Dr. Faye Abdellah called "the most significant nursing legislation in our time." It was the largest experiment in federally subsidized education in the history of the country to that time, and it…[continue]

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