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

Meet the Team

An expert team passionate about celebrating nursing history

Claire Chatterton

Claire Chatterton

Forum Chair
Staff Tutor, Faculty of Health and Social Care, Open University

After working in a variety of practice settings as a general and mental health nurse, Claire became a university lecturer in nursing and health care, she currently works at the Open University as a staff tutor.  Claire studied history at Oxford Brookes University and completed a PhD at the University of Salford, focusing on the history of mental health nursing. Claire has been an RCN member for over thirty years and is also a member of the RCN’S North West regional board.  Claire is an active member of the UK and American Associations for the History of Nursing, she also indulges her enthusiasm for history by volunteering at the University of Chester’s historical society.

Jane Brooks

Jane Brooks

Lecturer, University of Manchester

Jane teaches across all levels of both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Her research interests include the history of older adult nursing and more recently nursing work in the Second World War. She is Deputy Director of the UK Centre for the History of Nursing and Editor of the Bulletin of the UK Association for the History of Nursing. Her interests that she will be bringing to the History of Nursing Society are the translation of research for the public arena and engaging both new and experienced nurses and nursing students in the history of their profession.

Margaret Graham

Margaret Graham

Retired Senior Nurse Manager (Public Health)

Margaret trained at the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) and Purdysburn Psychiatric Hospital Belfast, where she completed a dual qualification. Margaret resigned as a ward sister to travel to Australia where she worked and traveled until returning to Belfast to undertake the Health Visitor certificate. Margaret worked as a public health nurse in Belfast, where her career developed into management. Margaret also worked at the Department of Health & Social Services as Business and Contracts Manager for post-registration nursing, with responsibility for commissioning education and training. 

Margaret is lead for the History of Nursing Society in Northern Ireland. Under her initiative, the society gathered narratives in Northern Ireland from nurses who had worked through the period of civil unrest known as the Troubles. These were published in Nurses' Voices from the Northern Ireland Troubles. In 2015, a BBC programme inspired by the book was aired regionally. 

Along with other members of the society in Northern Ireland, Margaret presented the book at RCN Congress 2014 under Inspirational Nurses. 

Alison ODonnell

Alison O’Donnell

Retired Lecturer in Nursing and Honorary Lecturer, School of Health Sciences, University of Dundee

Alison qualified as a nurse in 1980 and had various posts working in the NHS, before undertaking a clinical teaching course at Queen Margaret University College in 1985. She undertook a BA in Education at the University of Stirling after this and also completed a diploma in nurse education in 1992 at Stirling. 

An MSc followed and then, Alison gained her PhD in April 2010 from the University of Dundee; in 1999 she was awarded a Monica Baly Bursary which enabled her to extend her scholarship of the holocaust and nursing by consulting archival sources in the USA. In 2002, she was awarded a Carnegie Trust Travel Award which enabled her to visit the Hilde Steppe Archive in Frankfurt, the Hadamar Asylum, and the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp and Museum in Berlin, in 2004.

In 2014, Alison retired early from her post as a lecturer in nursing to concentrate on nursing history; she has an honorary lecturer post where she supervises 2 PhD students, works for QNIS with an interest in history, is a member of the RCN History of Nursing Steering Group and volunteers one half day a week in the RCN archives at South Oswald Road, Edinburgh. 

Dianne Yarwood

Dianne Yarwood

Retired Nurse Educationalist

Diane qualified as a general nurse in 1968 in Cardiff, but spent the rest of her career working in various London hospitals and schools of nursing, including Guy’s, Charing Cross and The Royal London. Over the years she studied biological and behavioural sciences at degree and masters levels, but throughout that time was an amateur, but enthusiastic historian, having first studied the history of nursing as part of the London University Diploma in Nursing in the 1970s. Dianne has been an RCN member since she was a student during the 1960s and has been a member of the RCN History of Nursing Society since its inception. She is currently secretary of the London & South East history of nursing group and is actively involved in an oral history project for the Charing Cross Hospital Nurses League.


Professional Lead: Teresa Doherty

Page last updated - 13/11/2018