Royal College of Nursing Representing nurses and nursing, promoting excellence in practice, shaping health policies

Your web browser is outdated and may be insecure

The RCN recommends using an updated browser such as Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome

Meet the Team

An expert team passionate about celebrating nursing history

Dianne Yarwood

Dianne Yarwood

Forum Chair

Dianne is a retired nurse educationalist with a career in the NHS and latterly in higher education.

After completing her training in Cardiff she moved to London and began her career as an operating department nurse, before moving into nurse education as a clinical teacher and then nurse tutor.  Whilst working in a number of roles as a tutor, senior tutor and manager she completed both bachelor and master’s degrees in psychology and sociology to inform her teaching and managerial roles in a number of schools of nursing. 

Having joined the RCN as a student nurse in the 1960s and the History of Nursing Society/Forum since its foundation in the 1980s she has been an enthusiastic nurse historian with a particular interest in the evolution and development of nurse education in England and Wales.

Over the past twenty years her engagement with the forum has included the collection of oral histories, presentations at Congress, supporting the Scrapbook Project, writing biographies for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biographies and supporting the development of a number of exhibitions.

Having previously completed 8 years as a member of the forum steering group, she is returning for a final period in the role of Forum Chair.

Dionne Daniel

Dionne Daniel

Dionne is a Director of Nursing - Fundamentals of Care at Epsom and St Helier University NHS Trust. She has worked in the NHS for over 20 years having migrated from Trinidad and Tobago where she trained and started her career.

She has worked in a variety of roles including: Ward Manager, Site Manager and Practice Development Nurse in the Director of Nursing’s Corporate team. Her background is acute medicine with an interest in diabetes and endocrinology and the care of older people. She recently was involved in researching the experience of nursing associates and has published two articles based on this work.

She is involved in the RCN as a Learning Representative and is a member of the Chief Nursing Officer’s BME Strategic advisory group and is an NHS APP Ambassador.

Dionne has an interest in history especially the history of nursing and normally supports International Nursing Day display boards. Her history of nursing interest is varied but she has a special interest in Windrush Nurses, intersectionality in nursing and radical nurses. She is looking forward to supporting the work of the committee.

Vari Drennan

Professor Vari Drennan, MBE

Professor of Health Care & Policy Research at Kingston University London

Vari completed one of the innovative nursing and degree courses at Southampton University and St. Thomas's Hospital, London, graduating with a BSc. (Hons) Sociology and Social Policy and as a registered nurse and health visitor.

She worked as a senior NHS manager in Inner London before taking up an academic post 1996 in University College London Medical School Department of Primary Care. 

Vari undertakes health service research, including on aspects of the health workforce. She was awarded an MBE in 2016 for services to health service research and nursing. All of Vari's research studies require that she looks to the past to understand the present, as well identify future policy paths. She is currently working on two history of nursing projects: the fluctuating fortunes of the community nursing workforce; the presence of 'community' in the pre-registration curriculum.

She is an active member of the forum's Nurses in Red Wikipedia project, with a personal mission to ensure nurses and nursing, as a mainly women's occupation, are not written out of history (again). 

Janet Hargreaves

Janet Hargreaves

Janet trained as a nurse in the 1970s, working in Ophthalmic and Operating Department nursing before moving into nursing and health education in Sheffield, Leeds, and Huddersfield.

Since retiring in 2017 she has been able to focus her research, publishing and speaking interests on nursing history.   Until 2022 she was a committee member with the UK Association for the History of Nursing, supporting the website, social media, and Bulletin publication.

Her current projects include exploring local nursing and health history in the South Cumbrian village where she lives, and researching the life of Molly Murphy, a 20th Century nurse and suffragette. 

Nicola Ring

Nicola Ring

Nicola Ring is a Professor of Nursing in the School of Health and Social Care at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. 

After working in hospital practice (adult and child nursing) and in the community as a health visitor, Nicola moved into nursing education 20 years. She is an experienced health researcher however, her absolute passion, is the history of nursing – using evidence from our profession’s past to better understand nursing today.

Her previous nursing research has included an investigation of the careers of early UK graduate nurses (1960s-80s). Most recently she has been leading a multi-disciplinary team (nursing, midwifery, and law) researching an over-looked shared aspect of nursing and midwifery history - the women and men accused of witchcraft for their curing and caring work in early modern times. This work focuses on Scotland during the time of the Witchcraft Act 1563-1737.  The initial project was funded by the RCN Foundation in support of the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife (2020) but, work continues.


History of Nursing Forum:

Professional Lead: Teresa Doherty

Page last updated - 16/01/2024