Because of their in-depth knowledge and experience, they have much to offer in the areas of healthcare assessment and policy development.

(1996 World Health Organisation Expert Committee)

Good things are said about nurses. They are showered with praise and exhalted in rhetoric. Yet conversations with nurses around the world, at the turn of the century, indicate a profession in crisis. Despite the large gains that nursing has made during the 20th century, in practice, in education and in research, there remain misgivings and anxieties about the future. This book explores some of the reasons for these anxieties and offers some positive ways forward.