Professor, School of Nursing

Director of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing

Room 2003 Fagin Hall 418 Curie Blvd.


(215) 898-4151

Research Interests


Dr. Fairman's research focuses on the history of 20th century health care issues pervading contemporary nursing practice. Much of her recent work addresses the relationship between gender, nursing and technology (critical care) and the history of the social construction of professional boundaries (the history of the nurse practitioner movement). This research has been utilized by members of Congress and by other policy-making bodies such as the Ministry of Health of New Zealand. She is currently investigating the influence of the nursing profession on health policy and looking at the role of the patient as health policy advocate. Other work examines the post-World War II history of nursing scholarship and disciplinary development. Dr. Fairman serves as the 2009 IOM/AAN/ANF Scholar in Residence and will work with the RWJ/IOM Commission on Investing in the Future of Nursing.

Selected Work

Critical Nursing: A History

Making Room in the Clinic; Nurse Practitioners and the Evolution of Modern Health Care

Teaching Fields

Dr. Fairman teaches Nurs318, "Race, Gender and Class in American Health Care," a University Honors course. She is also the lead faculty for Nurs750, "Nursing Inquiry". This course introduces students to the process of intellectual inquiry and critique, and explores the intellectual foundations of scholarly disciplines in general and the discipline of nursing in particular.

Faculty Bookshelf