"The Preliminary Training School [of] Birmingham General Hospital was an old convent. We all had our own room but they were cells and there was just room enough for a bed, no bedside table or anything like that. A little tiny dressing table at the far end on which there was a notice ‘no more than six items to be placed on this furniture’. The bed was horsehair and it had got a great lump in the middle where countless other nurses had slept. I’ll never forget it."
Started her training in 1946; taken from interview 26 March 2008
These followed degree programmes at the Universities of Edinburgh and Manchester, established by 1970. As the health service expanded, a new caring role emerged to work alongside nurses: the Health Care Assistant (HCA). From 2001 they became a part of our membership.
Nurses studying c.1950
"I have made no secret of my objective: bring nurses and nursing more openly into politics. It is only by fighting and winning battles over resources, organisation and policy in the public arena that we can avoid those conflicts intruding into the private and personal relationships that individual nurses must have with the people they serve."
Nurses: Power and Politics