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Nurse education history book published by UToledo Press receives award

“Caps, Capes, and Caring: The Legacy of Diploma Nursing Schools in Toledo” has won the 2018 Local History Publication Award in the Independent Scholar Division from the Bowling Green State University Center for Archival Collections.

Published by The University of Toledo Press, the book chronicles a century of nursing education in the Glass City.

Authors Patricia Ringos Beach, Susan J. Eisel, Maria E. Nowicki, Judy Harris Szor and Beth E. White will receive a $300 cash prize this fall at an event at Bowling Green, where they will discuss their work.

The BGSU contest was established to encourage and recognize authors of outstanding publications about northwest Ohio history.

This is the UToledo Press’ seventh award since 2006.

“This group of health-care professionals are so deserving of this honor,” Yarko Kuk, managing editor of the UToledo Press said. “They interviewed countless fellow nurses and produced a book that documents more than 100 years of the evolution of nursing schools in Toledo. The memories, stories and history contained in ‘Caps’ would have been lost were it not for the efforts of these dedicated women. Their book offers a wonderful peek into the field of nursing as it evolved over the past century.”

“Caps, Capes, and Caring” tells the story of the eight hospital-based diploma schools of nursing that were operating in Toledo from 1893 to 1999.

The authors, all hospital diploma school graduates, taught together as nursing faculty at the Toledo Hospital School of Nursing. Beach, Eisel, Nowicki and Szor are alumnae of MCO/MUO/UToledo, where they received advanced degrees in nursing and education.

To write the book, the authors interviewed nearly 100 Toledo diploma school graduates. Their memories and stories are celebrated in the book, which also includes historical images and photographs.

“I was a bit curious about how the book would turn out, considering we were working with five authors,” Kuk said. “When they initially pitched the book idea, they were describing something far different than the 320-plus-page work we have today. They thought it might be around 100 pages with about 100 photos. But as they turned in the manuscript, chapter by chapter, it became clear we had something really special. When I sat down with them after our first major edit of the entire draft and told them we were around 280 pages without photos, they just could not believe it. I had to tell them several times they had something really exceptional before it sank in.”

“We are so pleased to have won this award,” Beau Case, dean of University Libraries, said. “The prize both recognizes the hard work of Yarko Kuk and the authors, as well as the continued valuable contributions to local history that the Press makes.”

“Caps, Capes, and Caring: The Legacy of Diploma Nursing Schools in Toledo” is $24.95 and available on the website of The University of Toledo Press.