Library Europe's largest nursing-specific collection

Previous events

CTA youtube library events

Missed out?

Many of our past events are available to watch online, as well as short interviews with our speakers. 

See below for a selection of these films, or for the full list of past events, visit the RCN's youtube page.

Watch more events online

Nursing Whilst Black

For Black History Month 2020, this talk explored BAME leaders in nursing, past and present.

Who were the Black nurses earlier in the twentieth century who led the way for future generations? Chaired by Estephanie Dunn, RCN North West Regional Director, we heard from historian of nursing Dr Claire Chatterton about the history of Black nurses in the UK, and Yvonne Coghill CBE, head of the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard programme, on the legacy of this history today. 

This event was originally held online on 30 October 2020.

Jack's Story: Reflections of an Ex-POW on becoming a mental nurse

For World Mental Health Day 2020, Peter Nolan shares the story of Jack, a Prisoner of War who became a mental health nurse.

In this online event, Peter shares reflections from an oral history covering Jack's time in captivity, the shooting of his boyhood friend, Alfie, and the hard labour he had endured while suffering from extreme weakness due to starvation. Peter recounts experiences that Jack had long buried inside him and which aroused strong feelings of anger, regret and contrition.

This event was hosted online in October 2020.

Crimson Tea Parties presents: Nursing myth busters

Can you sort your Sairey Gamps from your Florence Nightingales? 

In this online event the team from Crimson Tea Parties give us a history of nursing through fashion. Susanna Cordner (London College of Fashion) and Stephanie Wood (Victoria & Albert Museum) explain what nursing uniforms can tell us about the image of nursing, and how nursing attire has featured beyond the hospital, from fancy dress to haute couture.

This event was held online in September 2020 in aid of Bloody Good Period:

The poetry of nursing: Romalyn Ante and Molly Case

Nurse and poet Romalyn Ante talks with nurse, poet and author Molly Case.

Romalyn Ante left her home country of the Philippines in 2005 when her mother, a nurse in the NHS, brought the family to the UK. Now a Specialist Nurse Practitioner, Romalyn reads from her debut poetry collection Antiemetic for Homesickness. 

This event begins with a reading by nurse and author Molly Case, followed by a conversation between our speakers as they explore what writing and creativity means to them as nurses.

This talk was hosted online in September 2020.

A Reappraisal of Nursing before Nightingale

Nursing did not begin with Florence Nightingale. But what was it like before?

In this online talk Professor Alannah Tomkins, University of Keele, joined us to share her research into the nurses before Nightingale. Her talk challenges the image of drunken, misbehaving nurses in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, revealing a diversity of employment experiences that did not generally end in disgrace. Alannah is introduced by Pauline Walsh, RCN Education Forum.

This talk was hosted online in September 2020.

Inclusion Cafe Book Club

A new bi-monthly online book club for RCN members to learn more about diversity in nursing and beyond.

At this first meeting, we heard from Young Historians Kaitlene Koranteng and Debrah Igbinedion. They told us more about the Young Historians Project - a youth-driven initiative, centring young Black people in the production of Black history in Britain - and chatted with former RCN president and clinical nurse specialist Dr Cecilia Akrisie Anim CBE, about migration and her nursing journey. The event was chaired by RCN Professional Lead Ruth Burey.

This first book club was held online on 2 September 2020.


Healthy Libraries: How we can support wellbeing

In September 2020 the Royal College of Nursing Library and Archive Service hosted an online workshop exploring the unexpected role libraries play around user wellbeing.

This recording captures a talk by Catherine Gamble, RCN Professional Lead for Mental Health. Cath gives an overview of the context we are now living in, the mental health challenges for the nursing workforce, and some hints and tips on how librarians can support students and library users in stressful times.

This conference was hosted online on 3 September 2020.

Emblems of Resilience: ‘Spanish Influenza’ to COVID-19

Hear from speakers Christine Hallett, Olivia Gordon and Amanda Gwinnup at the University of Huddersfield, as they explore nursing from 'Spanish' influenza to COVID-19.

This new research looks into the mirage of safety and control presented by those who nursed during the influenza pandemic one hundred years ago, as well as the toll this mask of resilience took upon those nurses. A century on from that, the speakers examine what we can learn from this amidst COVID-19. 

This event was originally held online in August 2020.


Total Pain: Cicely Saunders and the History of Emotions

Hear about the pioneering work of Cicely Saunders and what her legacy means for end of life care today.

Hospice pioneer Cicely Saunders championed better end of life care by acknowledging the emotional impacts of dying. In this talk, hear from researcher Joseph Wood who explains Saunders' concept of 'total pain.' Our second speaker Heather Richardson, Joint Chief Executive of St Christopher’s Hospice, talks about Saunders' legacy and end of life care today.

This event was originally held online in July 2020.

Nightingale's Legacy with Professor Anne Marie Rafferty

Two hundred years on from Florence Nightingale's birth, Professor Anne Marie Rafferty explores what we can learn from Nightingale's legacy.

In light of the challenges that 2020 has brought society and health care, RCN President Anne Marie Rafferty explores what we can learn from Nightingale's work and how her legacy continues to shape the profession today.

This event was originally held online in July 2020.


Hidden Lives, Untold Stories: Nurses Beyond Nightingale

This talk celebrates the 27 nurses added to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) for the 2020 Year of the Nurse.

Hear from a group of nurses and historians who wrote the new entries for the ODNB, a joint project between the RCN and the UK Association for the History Nursing (UKAHN).

This event was originally held online in June 2020.

Activism, Nursing and Women’s Rights

This talk was held for the 100th anniversary of nursing registration, in November 2019.

RCN President Anne Marie Rafferty and Helen Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, explained why the introduction of nursing registration in 1919 was an important time for nursing activism and women's rights.

On our own Desert Island with Professor Elizabeth Anionwu

Did you hear Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs?

Here's our very own version held at the RCN back in October 2016. In an interview with Wendy Irwin, Elizabeth tells us more fascinating stories about her life, shares more music, and even a bit of dancing too.

For rights reasons we have removed the music from this video.

Christie Watson: The Language of Kindness

In May 2018 we had the pleasure of hosting the book launch of The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson.

In this interview Christie talks about the inspirations for her book, what nursing means to her and takes a look round the RCN Library and Heritage Centre.

The film was made by the book's publisher Vintage, Penguin Random House. The Language of Kindness is available to buy now.