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New library spotlight display case: 'Nurses Will Decide'

28 May 2024

View our new spotlight display showcasing some of our unique collections.

archival image of nurses on a picket line

In the Library and Museum at the RCN in London, each of the graduate trainees has the opportunity to curate and install a new ‘spotlight display’ case. This is exhibited on the lower ground floor of the library at 20 Cavendish Square, and showcases some of the RCN’s unique collections which tell a story of nursing history.

We are pleased to share that the new spotlight display, titled ‘Nurses Will Decide: organising and action in the 20th century’, draws on the RCN’s archives and collections to explore the history of nurse and healthcare worker unionisation. 

The exhibition displays material regarding not only the RCN’s history, which charts its journey toward becoming a trade union in 1976, but also documents from other organisations which worked to mobilise nurses. In recognition of the ongoing campaigns to improve nursing staff's working conditions today, this display includes campaign posters, union recruitment leaflets, heated newspaper debates and other political materials to illustrate how the debate amongst nurses over organising and industrial action evolved over the 20th century.

You can view this display, entitled ‘Nurses Will Decide: organising and action in the 20th century’, on the Lower Ground Floor of the RCN Library and Heritage Centre at 20 Cavendish Square. You can also keep an eye on our library social media channels, such as @rcnlibraries on Twitter/X, to be the first to hear about any more updates in our exhibition spaces. 

 Image: ‘Support grows for no strike Pact’, Nursing Times, 15 February 1979 


Page last updated - 30/05/2024