Badges and medals
Nursing and hospital badges are often donated to the RCN Archives. These badges were predominantly issued by hospitals and nursing organisations from the 19th century, through to the 1970s. The RCN has a growing collection of badges and medals available to search on the archives catalogue.
The Meglaughlin badge collection
In 1991, the Royal College of Nursing became responsible for one of the larger collections of nursing badges in the UK. They were bequeathed to the RCN Archives by the late Jennifer Meglaughlin, author of the pioneering work ‘British Nursing Badges: An Illustrated Handbook, Volume One’ (1990). Jennifer was a state registered nurse and trained at Hazlemere Hospital in Surrey.
In the introduction to her book, Jennifer wrote that there should be a “permanent national archives and display of nursing badges”. Unfortunately, Jennifer died before she was able to write Volume Two of ‘British Nursing Badges’. Jennifer’s first exhibition of nursing badges took place at the RCN headquarters in 1982, with a second following in 1986 for the RCN’s jubilee year. The badges have been used in several displays since they were donated to the RCN.
Go to Nursing and hospital badges.