Patricia D’Antonio, PhD, RN, FAAN is Carol E. Ware Endowed Professor in Mental Health Nursing and the Director of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing. She is a Fellow of both the American Academy of Nursing and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Dr. D’Antonio has also been inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Research Hall of Fame. She is also the former chair of the department of family and community health at Penn Nursing, and is the former editor of the Nursing History Review, the official journal of the American Association for the History of Nursing.
Dr. D’Antonio’s research focus is on the history of nursing and health care. She is particularly interested in nursing’s work in homes and hospitals, and the many layer meanings ascribed to that work by nurses themselves, and their families, friends, families, and communities. Her newest book, Nursing with a Message: Public Health Demonstrations in New York City (Rutgers University Press, 2017), explores the ways in which nurses were central to the building of what we now recognize as primary health care. Her earlier book, American Nursing: A History of Knowledge, Authority and the Meaning of Work (Johns Hopkins Press, 2010) explores the diverse ways in which women and some men from different race, ethnic and class backgrounds reframed the most traditional of gendered expectations – that of caring for the sick – in ways that allowed them to renegotiate the terms of some of their experiences in their own families and communities and, ultimately, to reshape their own sense of worth, value, and power. Her first book on 19th century psychiatric care has been published as Founding Friends: Families, Staff, and Patients at the Friends Asylum in Early 19th Century Philadelphia (Lehigh University Press, 2006).