Library Europe's largest nursing-specific collection

Defence Nursing Services

Nursing services is the largest specialist group within the defence medical services (DMS) and ensures "service medical personnel are ready and medically fit for deployment. This involves managing primary health care, dental care, hospital care, rehabilitation, occupational health, community mental health and specialist medical care for all military personnel." (RCN, 2014, Defence nursing: RCN guidance for nursing staff). Use this guide to find information resources about defence nursing services including books, reports and journal articles.

Last updated: 10/02/2021

Key Resources

Care Quality Commission (2019) CQC’s inspection programme of Defence Medical Services: Annual report for Year 3 (2019/20). Newcastle Upon Tyne: CQC.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (2019) NATO standard AJP-4.10: allied joint doctrine for medical support (edition C version 1). NATO.
Royal College of Nursing (2018) A professional resource for nurses new to defence, London: RCN. Royal College of Nursing (2018) A professional resource for nurses new to defence, London: RCN.
Briggs T (2014) The Chavasse report. Raising the bar: improving armed forces and veteran care whilst raising the NHS standards for all. A strategic partnership between the Nation, the Armed Forces and the NHS, London: British Orthopaedic Association.
Burnett Library (Defence Medical Services)
Ministry of Defence (2012) Defence Medical Services: a review of compliance with the essential standards of quality and safety, London: MoD.
Ministry of Defence (2017) Mental health in the UK armed forces, London: MoD
Ministry of Defence (2015) Strategic trends programme: Future operating environment 2035, London: MoD.
Ministry of Defence (2017) The operational patient care pathway, London: MoD.
Ministry of Defence (2010) Treating injury and illness arising on military operations: Twenty–seventh Report of Session 2009–10, London: House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts.
Sphere Handbook (2018) Humanitarian charter and minimum standards in humanitarian response, Geneva: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Care Quality Commission (2018) Defence Medical Services CQC inspection programme: Annual report for Year 1 (2017/18), Newcastle Upon Tyne: CQC.
Great Britain. House of Commons. Committee of Public Accounts (2010) Ministry of Defence: treating injury and illness arising on military operation. 27th report of session 2009-10: report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence. London: Stationery Office
Armour C, Waterhouse-Bradley B, Walker E et al. (2017) Supporting and serving military veterans in Northern Ireland, (no place) (no publisher).
NHS - Veterans: NHS mental health services
Royal College of General Practitioners: Veterans' healthcare toolkit
Royal College of General Practitioners and The Royal British Legion and Combat Stress (no date) Meeting the healthcare needs of veterans: a guide for general practitioners, London: RCGP.
Veterans' Gateway: Healthcare in England - an overview
Armour C, Waterhouse-Bradley B, Ross J et al. (2018) Public attitudes to the UK armed forces in Northern Ireland, (no place) (no publisher).
We would like to thank the RCN Defence Nursing member community for their input into the development of this subject guide.

Books

Beder J (2016) Caring for the military: A guide for helping professionals, London: Routledge Ltd. Beder J (2016) Caring for the military: A guide for helping professionals, London: Routledge Ltd.
Bone L and Mamczak N (2014) Front line extremity and orthopaedic surgery: a practical guide, Berlin: Springer.
Bowles S V and Bartone P T (eds.) (2018) Handbook of military psychology: clinical and organizational practice. Cham: Springer. Bowles S V and Bartone P T (eds.) (2018) Handbook of military psychology: clinical and organizational practice. Cham: Springer.
Cameron K  and Owens B (2016) Musculoskeletal injuries in the military, New York, NY: Springer Verlag. Cameron K  and Owens B (2016) Musculoskeletal injuries in the military, New York, NY: Springer Verlag.
Cataldo D (2018) Facial reconstructive surgery in humanitarian missions. Brescia: MarcoSerraTarantolaEditore.
Giannou C and Baldan M (2010) War Surgery: working with limited resources in Armed Conflict and other situations of violence, volume 1, Geneva: International Committee for the Red Cross.
Giannou C, Baldan M and Molde A (2013) War Surgery: working with limited resources in Armed Conflict and other situations of violence, volume 2, Geneva: International Committee of the Red Cross.
Graham M and Orr J (editors) (2013) Nurses' voices from the Northern Ireland troubles, Harrow: RCN Publishing.
Greaves I (editor) (2019) Military medicine in Iraq and Afghanistan: a comprehensive review, Boca Raton: CRC Press. Greaves I (editor) (2019) Military medicine in Iraq and Afghanistan: a comprehensive review, Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Grubor P (2014) Treatment of war wounds to the extremities, New York: Nova Publishers. Grubor P (2014) Treatment of war wounds to the extremities, New York: Nova Publishers.
Hepner K, Sloss E and Roth C (2016) Quality of care for PTSD and depression in the military health system: Phase I report, Santa Monica: Rand Corporation. Hepner K, Sloss E and Roth C (2016) Quality of care for PTSD and depression in the military health system: Phase I report, Santa Monica: Rand Corporation.
Hutchings S (2016) Trauma and combat critical care in clinical practice. New York: Springer. Hutchings S (2016) Trauma and combat critical care in clinical practice. New York: Springer.
Kushner AL (2017) Operation Crisis: surgical care in the developing world during conflict and disaster, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Kushner AL (2017) Operation Crisis: surgical care in the developing world during conflict and disaster, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Leenaars A (2016) Suicide among the armed forces: Understanding the cost of service, Amityville: Routledge Ltd. Leenaars A (2016) Suicide among the armed forces: Understanding the cost of service, Amityville: Routledge Ltd.

Book subject searches

Use these links to see details of books the RCN libraries hold on each topic.

Journal articles

Journals

MIlitary Psychology Journal Journals of interest for defence nursing services. Use these links to see details of availability.

Exhibitions

RCN Exhibition: For Queen and Country: Nursing, Trauma and War RCN Exhibition: For Queen and Country: Nursing, Trauma and War
  • Throughout history conflicts have affected the physical and mental health of service personnel and civilians. From the Crimean War in 1853, when trained nurses were first posted to a war zone, to Afghanistan in 2014, each conflict has presented a unique challenge, while the environment and the threat of disease causes even more casualties than the battlefield. Nurses doing their duty for Queen and Country provide skilled, compassionate care to anyone at every stage of the patient experience. This exhibition told their story.
    View online exhibition

Nursing History Collection

Defence nurses’ experiences from Iraq and Afghanistan Royal College of Nursing (2015) Defence nurses’ experiences from Iraq and Afghanistan, London: RCN.
  • This item is available in the RCN Digital Archive for historical interest.
    View page
Fell A (2013) First World War nursing: new perspectives, Abingdon: Routledge. Fell A (2013) First World War nursing: new perspectives, Abingdon: Routledge.
Hallett, Christine (2016) Nurse writers of the Great War, Manchester, Manchester University Press
Hallett E (2014) Veiled warriors: allied nurses of the First World War, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hallett E (2014) Veiled warriors: allied nurses of the First World War, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Helmstadter, Carol (2020) Beyond Nightingale : nursing on the Crimean War battlefields, Manchester : Manchester University Press
McEwen Y (2014) In the company of nurses: the history of the British Army Nursing Service in the Great War, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. McEwen Y (2014) In the company of nurses: the history of the British Army Nursing Service in the Great War, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Mortimer B (2012) Sisters: memories from the courageous nurses of world war two, London: Hutchinson. Mortimer B (2012) Sisters: memories from the courageous nurses of world war two, London: Hutchinson.
Pattinson J and Summerfield P (2020) Women of war: gender, modernity and the first aid nursing yeomanry. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Pattinson J and Summerfield P (2020) Women of war: gender, modernity and the first aid nursing yeomanry. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Scannell-Desch E (2012) Nurses in war: voices from Iraq and Afghanistan, New York: Springer Publishing. Scannell-Desch E (2012) Nurses in war: voices from Iraq and Afghanistan, New York: Springer Publishing.

Special collections

Our Permanent Collection consists of nursing specific core items and rare items. It is viewable by appointment at the RCN Library and Heritage Centre. Here is a small selection of items from our collection.
Harrison A (1944) Grey and scarlet: letters from the war areas by Army sisters on active service, London : Hodder and Stoughton.
Her Majesty Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (1922) Reminiscent sketches: 1914 to 1919, London: John Bale Sons & Danielsson.
Taylor M (1857) Eastern hospitals and English nurses: the narrative of twelve months' experience in the hospitals of Koulali and Scutari, London: Hurst and Blackett.

Historical journals

Nursing Record/British Journal of Nursing (1888-1956)
  • Digitised journal available online.
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Bulletin of the UK Association for the History of Nursing (2012-)
  • Digitised journal available online.
    View page
Nursing History Review (1997-)
Nursing Mirror (1907-1985)
Nursing Times (1905- )

Archives

The RCN Archive contains some of the most important collections dedicated to the history of the nursing profession in the UK. Visitors by appointment in Edinburgh.
Private papers
  • The Florence Nightingale Digitization Project (available online).
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  • British Commonwealth Nurses War Memorial Fund Book of Honour (reference C82).
    View details
  • Doreen Norton - British Commonwealth Nurses War Memorial Fund (reference C457).
    View details
Medals
  • Three typical First World War medals - the Mons Star, General Service medal and the Victory Medal issued to nurse Margaret Collins who served with the British Expeditionary Force in 1914 (reference C581).
    View details
Photographs
  • The earliest wartime photographs in the Archive are from the album ofAnnie Warren Gill, who served as a military nurse during the 2nd South African War (aka Boer War) (reference C580).
    View details

This subject guide relates to:

RCN Library staff

Andrew Temple-Mabe

Editor of this guide

RCN Library and Archive Service

Upcoming events relating to this subject guide

Page last updated - 10/02/2021