More about Vintage Nurse Romance Novels

Some books appear to be nurse romance novels but are not; this is a list of some such books

Nurse Novels, by Bill Casey
Southwest Review 1964; 49(4):332-341.
Page 332 of Nurse Novels

I hope I will not be accused of an attempt to overstimulate when I announce that I have discovered a new literary genre. It is the Nurse Novel, and if sheer numbers mean anything, it is moving right up there with the Western and the Mystery as a type. The day I discovered it, I bought two dozen titles in a single magazine shop, at a total cost of $9.95. I have tried to keep any resentment out of the report that follows. 

Ring for the Nurse, by Susannah Clark

Imagine you’re meandering through a country antique store when, back in the gloomier recesses, you come across a small handful of 50-year-old paperbacks shoved onto the shelf of a rickety bookcase. Exiled from the hidebound classics at the front of the store, a title among this scraggly collection leaps out at you—is that book really called Surf Safari Nurse? You’re instantly captivated. Dude Ranch NurseNurse on HorsebackCover Girl NurseThe Nurse and the Pirate—how can you walk away from these neglected treasures?

This is actually how I found vintage nurse romance novels, a very niche sector of the romance novel that was widely popular in the 1960s. Indeed, most romance publishing houses, even Harlequin, had a special catalog of nursing titles. Possibly a thousand or more of these books were published up through the 1970s, when they fell out of favor. I was so captivated by their antiquated charm that I now own more than 500 nurse novels, perhaps the largest collection in the world. I've even reviewed more than 325 for my blog, Vintage Nurse Romance Novels. ...

"Im a Nurse, Not a Woman!" The Historical Significance of the UWM Nurse Romance Novel Collection, by Katie Elisabeth Stollenwerk

This thesis seeks to promote future collection and preservation of popular culture resources at academic libraries by demonstrating the research potential and instructional value of a particular collection—the Nurse Romance Novel collection, held by the UWM Special Collections department. The study examines the history of American nursing and the history of romance fiction, raising questions about the role mass media and popular culture played in the professionalization of nursing and in the construction of dominant ideologies about gender roles in twentieth century America. This study treats romance novels as both consumer goods and as narratives, analyzing not only their literary content but also contextualizing their production, consumption, and aesthetic conventions within the historical time period of the 1940s to 1970s. Romance fiction about nurses offers one lens through which scholars can investigate how mass media participated in society's debates about women, work, care giving, domesticity, and marriage.

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