Nurse researchers explored the history of Mary Breckenridge’s Frontier Nursing Service (FNS) during the years 1925 to 1965, to elicit how her experience could inform present day concerns regarding universal access to healthcare. A historical biographical approach informed by critical theory was selected as the methodology. As historical research tends to generate large volumes of data, concept mapping was selected to collect, reduce, organize and interpret data. Additionally, concept mapping can assist researchers to agree on meaning as seen in interrelationships of the data. The final aggregate concept map is a graphic, visual representation of the outcome of this historical research process. The researchers in this study found concept mapping to be an ideal tool for reducing and managing data, visualizing interconnectedness of the data and viewing significant concepts in relation to the whole. The results of this study found the FNS to be a powerful exemplar of a successful healthcare delivery system that had a major impact on the health of the residents in one of poorest regions in the country. Mary Breckenridge was able to mobilize public support and creatively generate resources, to initiate and maintain a community-based healthcare program.


Concept Mapping, Mind Mapping, Historical Research, Qualitative Research, Mary Breckenridge, Frontier Nursing Service

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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