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

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Our work

Find out more about the work of the History of Nursing Society and the other organisations we work with

Committee Charter 2022

Protect, Preserve, Share and Cherish

The History of Nursing Forum is open to RCN members who want to learn more about their history and to promote awareness within the profession. We believe the history of nursing is wider than the study of nurse training and practise; it encompasses the experiences of individuals and groups, movements and organisations, religion and war, culture and gender, politics and social ideas.

Read our annual plans in our 2022 Charter.

Read our Forum 2021 annual strategy day meeting notes.

Upcoming exhibitions and events

You can see our current and past exhibitions online.

These include:

  • Pandemic!
  • Nursing 100 years of infection and
  • Apects of Age.

We have exciting plans for our forthcoming exhibition due to be launched in 2022 which will be on Learning Disability Nursing.

We also hold events and workshops both online and around the UK. 

Oral Histories 2022

Since 1986 the History of Nursing Forum has recorded interviews from the nursing community across the UK.

The interviews share experiences of changes in clinical practice and in everyday life and are held in RCN Archives. Find out more about the collection online.

Although we paused interviews due to COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021 we aim to restart the programme in 2022. You can email us honf@rcn.org.uk if you are interested in being involved.

Extracts from the collection have featured in our exhibitions, been quoted in research publications and informed responses to media enquiries.

Family and local history guide

We are delighted to share our Guide: Tracing Nurses - A guide to British nursing sources for researching family and local history.

With the release in January 2022 of the 1921 Census we wanted to share a guide on how to search for nurses. As the largest profession in the UK there is an increasing amount of information being made available in archives and online. This self-service guide aims to give you practical instructions and background information to help you get started. Read our blog to find out more.

If you have comments on the guide, please feedback through honf@rcn.org.uk (please be aware we do not undertake family history research).

British Library Web Archive project

In 2020 as part of the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife celebrations we launched a partnership project with the British Library to ensure UK nursing websites and twitter accounts are permanently preserved.

To find out about the project and how the project progressed in 2021 read our blog post.

Wikipedia project

New for 2022

Watch this space as we scope plans to increase the number and quality of Wikipedia articles on the history of nursing in the UK.

Page last updated - 11/02/2022