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#RCN100 Celebrating 100 years of the Royal College of Nursing

Nursing before Nightingale, 1815-1899

Carol Helmstadter and Judith Godden

Julie Key, Literature Search Specialist

Reason you chose this book

This book was a huge help for me when trying to get my head around the history of nurse training. I answer a lot of family history enquiries and this really helped me to get a better grip on nursing and its history.


We all know that Florence Nightingale set up the first school of nursing at St. Thomas’, London in 1860 but what was nursing like before this? A fascinating read taking in religious orders, disorderly night nurses who snuck in beer for the patients and ultimately the need for formal nurse training. If you are tracing your family history, interested in medical history, gender and social studies this book will be of great value.

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