The wandering womb: Women's health nursing past and present

08 May 2019 - 31 Oct

42 South Oswald Road, Edinburgh, EH9 2HH


Visit our exhibition at RCN Scotland.

Women have long been seen as at the mercy of their own biology. In the ancient medical world it was believed that a “wandering womb” could cause suffocation and death. Menstruation and childbearing were thought to make women weaker and less rational than men. Rising above these challenges, 100 years ago, women secured the right to vote in the UK. At the same time, nursing was formalised as a largely female profession. Since then, nurses have taken a leading role in challenging generalisations about women’s health. However, myths and misconceptions remain widespread, while medical and social changes have altered our biology as well as attitudes. 

This exhibition addresses what has been seen as “normal” for women, past and present, and why women’s health has long been considered “dirty” nursing.

Visitor information

All our exhibitions are free to visit. 

Opening hours are Monday, Tuesday and Friday 10am – 4pm.

You can also view the exhibition content online.

See a list of events coming up, including the exhibition launch, as part of this series on women's health nursing.

The venue is fully wheelchair accessible.

If you have any other needs, please email us at and we will assist you wherever possible.


42 South Oswald Road

Page last updated - 16/12/2019