Barbra Mann Wall, PhD, RN, FAAN, who holds the Thomas A. Saunders III Professorship, focuses on the gendered story of hospital establishments and the nursing profession. Her award-winning book, Unlikely Entrepreneurs: Catholic Sisters and the Hospital Marketplace, 1865-1925 (Ohio State University Press, 2005), integrates history and nursing practice to inform how America’s two-tiered, public-private approach to health delivery serves a diverse American populace. Her second book, American Catholic Hospitals: A Century of Changing Markets and Missions (Rutgers University Press, 2011), analyzes the heretofore invisible role of Catholic sister nurses as leaders of the largest not-for-profit health care system in the US, noting tensions that developed as religious institutions attempted to directly shape health policies in a diverse milieu.

Dr. Wall's newest book, Into Africa: A Transnational History of Catholic Missions and Social Change (Rutgers University Press, 2015), explores the intersection of religion, medicine, gender, race, and politics in sub-Saharan Africa after World War II. She also is co-editor, with UVA Nursing's Dr. Arlene Keeling, of two books on the history of nursing in disasters: Nurses on the Front Lines: When Disasters Strike, 1878-2010 (2010); and Nurses and Disasters: Global, Historical Cases (2015), and serves as editor in chief of Health Emergency and Disaster Nursing.

Dr. Wall earned her BS from the University of Texas at Austin, her MS in nursing from Texas Woman’s University, and earned a PhD in history from the University of Notre Dame.

Dr. Wall will retire as director of the Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry in May 2021.


Journal Articles

Wall, B.M. (2020). Seeing images during conflict: then and now. The UKAHN Bulletin, 8(1), 1-4. doi:

Wall, B.M. (2020). The role of place in the history of nursing: introduction. Nursing History Review, 28(1), 127–132. doi: 10.891/1062-8061. doi:10.891/10.891/1062-8061.28.1271062-8061.28.127

Sabone, M., Mazonde, P., Cainelli, F., Maitshoko, M., Renatha, J., Shayo, J., Morris, B., Muecke, M., Wall, B. M., Hoke, L., Peng, L., Mooney-Doyle, K., & Ulrich, C. M. (2019). Everyday ethical challenges of nurse-physician collaboration. Nursing Ethics, 1(15), e1-15. doi:10.1177/0969733019840753

Wall, B. M. (2019). Book review [Review of the book A history of global health: Interventions into the lives of other peoples, by Randall M. Packard]. Nursing History Review, 27(1), 156-158. doi:10.1891/1062-8061.27.156

Wall, B.M. (2018). Preface to series, disasters and geopolitics: Implications for nursing. Health Emergency and Disaster Nursing, 5(1), 58-59. doi:10.24298/hedn.2014-1.6

Toro, M., & Wall, B.M. (2018). A complete meltdown of humanity: The Aleppo disaster of 2016. Health Emergency and Disaster Nursing, 5(1), 60-64. doi:10.24298/hedn.2017-0011

Wall, B.M. (2015). Hannah lecture: Disasters, nursing, and community responses: A historical perspective. Nursing History Review, 23(1), 11-27. doi:10.1891/1062-8061.23.11

Kutney-Lee, A., Melendez-Torres, G.J., McHugh, M.D., Wall, B. M. (2014). Distinct enough? A national examination of Catholic hospital affiliation and patient perceptions of care. Health Care Manage Rev., 39(2), 134-44.

Wall, B.M. (2014). Special contribution: Highlights from the launch celebration seminar of Health Emergency and Disaster Nursing: Nursing research in disasters, the possibilities and promises. Health Emergency and Disaster Nursing, 1, 6-10.

Reckart, M., Wall, B.M. (2014). Resistance and religion: health care in Uganda, 1971-1979. Family Community Health, 37(3), 231-238.

Johnson, L., Wall, B.M. (2014). Women, religion, and maternal health care in Ghana, 1945-2000. Family and Community Health, 37(3), 223-230.

Wall, B.M. (2013). The role of Catholic nurses in women’s health care policy disputes. A Historical Study. Nursing Outlook, 61, 367-374.

Wall, B.M. (2012). American Catholic nursing: An historical analysis. Medizinihistorisches Journal (Medicine and the Life Science in History) (Band 47, Booklet 2+3), 160-175.

Wall, B.M. (2010). Conflict and compromise: Catholic and public hospital partnerships. Nursing History Review, (18), 100-117.

D’Antonio, P., Connolly, C., Wall, B.M., Whelan, J., and Fairman, J. (2010). Histories of nursing: The power and the possibilities. Nursing Outlook, 58(4), 207-213.

Wall, B.M. (2009). Catholic sister nurses in Selma, Alabama, 1940-1972. Advances in Nursing Science, 32(1), 91-102.

Wall, B.M. (2009). Catholic nursing sisters and brothers and racial justice in mid-20th-century America. Advances in Nursing Science, 32(2), E-81.

Wall, B.M. (2008). Looking back: Celebrating nursing history. American Journal of Nursing, 108(6), 26-29.

Wall, B.M. (2008). Healing after disasters in early twentieth-century Texas. Advances in Nursing Science, 31(3), 211-224.

Wall, B.M., Edwards, N., & Porter, M. (2007). Textual analysis of retired nurses’ oral histories. Nursing Inquiry, 14(4), 279-288.

Wall, B.M. (2006). Textual analysis as a method for historians of nursing. Nursing History Review, 14, 227-242.

Wall, B.M. (2005). About the cover: Hospitals and habits: Catholic sisters and the medical marketplace, 1860-1930. American Catholic Studies, 116(1), 91-94.

Wall, B.M., Novak, J., & Wilkerson, S. (2005). Doctor of nursing practice program development: Reengineering health care. Journal of Nursing Education, 44(9), 396-403.

Wall, B.M., & Rossen, E. (2004). Media as a teaching tool in psychiatric nursing. Nurse Educator, 29(1), 36-40.

Wall, B.M. (2003). Science and ritual: The hospital as medical and sacred space, 1865-1920. Nursing History Review, 11, 51-68.

Wall, B.M. (2003). Health care as product: Catholic sisters confront charity and the hospital marketplace, 1865 - 1925. In Susan Strasser (Ed.), Commodifying Everything: Relationships of the Mar, 143-168.

Wall, B.M., & Nelson, S. (2003). Our heels are praying very hard all day: The working prayer of the 19th-century religious nurse. Holistic Nursing Practice, 17(6), 320-328.

Wall, B.M. (2002). We might as well burn it: Catholic sister-nurses and hospital control, 1865-1930. U. S. Catholic Historian, 21, 1-39.

Wall, B.M. (2001). Definite lines of influence: Catholic sisters and nurse training schools. Nursing Research, 50, 314-321.

Wall, B.M. (2001). The pin - striped habit: Balancing charity and business in Catholic hospitals, 1865-1915. Nursing Research, 51, 50-58.

Marshall, E.S., & Wall, B.M. (1999). Religion, gender, and autonomy: A comparison of two religious women's groups in nursing and hospitals in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Advances in Nursing Science, 22, 1-22.

Wall, B.M. (1998). Called to a mission of charity: The Sisters of St. Joseph in the Civil War. Nursing History Review, 6, 85-113.

Wall, B.M. (1995). Courage to care: The Sisters of the Holy Cross in the Spanish-American War. Nursing History Review, 3, 55-77.

Wall, B.M., Philips, J.P., & Howard, J. (1994). Validation of increased intracranial pressure and high risk for increased intracranial pressure. Nursing Diagnosis, 5, 74-81.

Wall, B.M., Miller, D., & Widerquist, J. (1993). Predictors of success on the newest NCLEX-RN. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 15, 628-643.

Wall, B.M. (1993). Grace under pressure: The nursing Sisters of the Holy Cross, 1861 - 1865. Nursing History Review, 1, 71-87.


Wall, B. M. & Brown, B. J. (2017). Through the eyes of Nursing: Educational reform at the University of Texas School of Nursing, 1890-1989. Austin, TX: Austin Books Consortium.

Wall, B. M. (2015). Into Africa: A transitional history of Catholic medical missions and social change. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Wall, B. M. (2011). American Catholic hospitals: A century of changing markets and missions. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

Wall, B. M., Keeling, A. W. (2010). Nurses on the front lines: When disasters strike, 1878-2010. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Wall, B. M. (2005). Unlikely entrepreneurs: Catholic sisters and the hospital marketplace, 1865-1925. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.

Porter, M., Wall, B. M., (2003). Advocacy and action: 100 years of the Indiana State Nurses Association. Virginia Beach, Virginia: Donning Publishers.

Book Sections

Wall, B. M. (2019). "The Christian Commission Also Brought a Wagon Today”: Dr. Fulton, voluntary relief associations, and women in hospitals. In R. Hicks (Ed.), Civil War medicine: A surgeon’s diary (pp. 313-329). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press

Wall, B. M., & Keeling, A. (2017). Historical highlights in disaster nursing. In J. Truglio-Londrigan & S. Lewenson (Eds), Public health nursing: Practicing population-based care (pp. 377-391). Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Wall, B.M. (2015). The changing face of medical missions in Nigeria, 1937-1970. In S. Hawkins & H. Sweet (Eds.), Colonial caring: A history of colonial and post-colonial nursing (pp. 188-207). Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press.

Wall, B.M. (2013). Beyond the imperial narrative. Catholic missionary nursing, medicine, and knowledge translation in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1945-1980. In E. Fleischmann, et al (Eds.), Transnational and Historical Perspectives on Global Health, Welfare and Humanitarianism (pp. 90-109). Norway: Portal Forlag Publishers

Wall, B.M. (2011). History of Roman Catholic nursing in the United States. In M. Fowler, S. Kirkham, R. Sawatzky, and E. Taylor (Eds), Religions in nursing: Ethical, theoretical, and empirical perspectives, (pp. 151-171). New York: Springer Publishing Company

Wall, B.M. (2010). Body, soul, and service: Catholic sister-nurses in late nineteenth and early twentieth century hospitals. In Nursing history: Interventions through time, (pp. 61-73). New York: Springer Publishing Company