History of Nursing Articles
- ‘Scenes of the wildest description’ (4 May 2022)
Nursing historian Claire Chatterton remembers the Radcliffe strikers 100 years on from the explosive events.
- Starving while caring (22 March 2022)
History of Nursing Forum member Jane Brooks looks at the importance of feeding and nutrition through the eyes of interned nurses caring for prisoners of war during the Second World War.
- 'Fearless about being first' (17 January 2022)
How a Nigerian nurse’s determination to tackle cultural norms in the mid-20th century led to her becoming one of the most influential nursing leaders in British history.
- Molly Murphy: the life of an activist nurse (22 December 2021)
Molly Murphy had an extraordinary life – she was a suffragette, escaped to Russia to experience the aftermath of the revolution, and worked through the Spanish Civil War and the Blitz – but she wanted to be remembered, above all, as a nurse. Her fascinating life story reveals a lot about nursing in the first half of the 20th century, says Dr Janet Hargreaves.
- What do witches and nurses have in common? (26 October 2021)
Professor Nicola Ring’s new research into the Scottish healers and midwives accused of witchcraft 400 years ago reveals secrets about the origins of nursing.
- Finding the black nurses of the Royal Navy (4 October 2021)
In the 18th century, enslaved black women were made to work in the British Empire’s naval hospitals, treating sailors with yellow fever and malaria. Historian Dr Erin Spinney finds traces of their lives and work in the archives.
- Do you have a nursing ancestor? (28 September 2021)
As we celebrate 100 years of nurse registration, the RCN library and archive team can help you search for your nursing ancestors.
- Prisoner of war to psychiatric nurse (15 June 2021)
As former psychiatric nurse and nursing historian Professor Peter Nolan returns to the RCN for an upcoming history event, we hear about his fascinating career and how the personal stories of nursing staff can paint a vivid picture of nursing’s past.
- 'Nursing history goes beyond Nightingale' (1 June 2021)
We shouldn’t forget the other nurses and midwives instrumental in shaping the profession, says Tamsin Smith from the RCN History of Nursing Forum.
- Nursing history at home (23 March 2021)
Explore the RCN’s online history exhibitions from the comfort of your sofa.
- Eliza’s lessons: infection control in 1887 (22 March 2021)
How did nursing staff deal with infectious diseases in the 19th century? This nursing student’s notes reveal parallels with the COVID-19 pandemic.
- RCN launches history podcast (10 February 2021)
New podcast series Past Caring explores the history of nursing through conversations with historians, artists and nursing staff.
- Nursing history: 20 icons remembered (21 December 2020)
Discover how the RCN's nursing history experts are preserving the legacy of brilliant nurses in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
- 'Windrush dominates but there are other black nursing histories' (12 October 2020)
Kaitlene Koranteng from the Young Historians Project explains why it’s crucial that young black people are involved in telling black British histories.
- Nursing history: the first male nurses (29 April 2020)
Who were the first men on the general nursing register? Dr Stuart Wildman, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, finds out.
- Nursing history: a quest to cure leprosy (28 April 2020)
Retired nursing lecturer Gosia Brykczynska explores the lasting legacy of nurse Kate Marsden’s leprosy quest to Yakutia.
- What emotional qualities make the perfect nurse? (22 January 2020)
Our new exhibition explores how expectations of nurses have evolved over 150 years.
- Exhibition exploring history of emotions in nursing launches (22 January 2020)
Never-before-seen artefacts and stained glass windows inspired by RCN members show how our views of nursing have evolved over the past 150 years.
- Wanted: volunteers to make safe staffing history (10 January 2020)
RCN President Professor Anne Marie Rafferty is leading a project that will interview members involved in our safe staffing campaign, and you could be a part of it.
Page last updated - 13/05/2022