Title: Leeds General Infirmary Nurse Training Collection
Classmark: MS 1656
Creator(s): Leeds General Infirmary
Main language: English
Size and medium: 32 volumes; manuscript books
Collection group(s): Medical Collections
Contains 28 volumes of registers relating to the training of nurse probationers at the Leeds General Infirmary; and 4 registers of nurses enrolled in the Territorial Army Nursing Service.
Nurses have been employed by the Leeds General Infirmary since it’s opening in 1767, though in its first hundred years there was no system of training them. Nurses at the Infirmary were originally managed by the Matron, and they would have lived onsite. This continued until 1945.
A system of training was launched in 1868 once Clara Jones, the first Superintendent of Nurses, joined in December of that year. The role of Superintendent was to replace that of Matron until 1940 when the latter title was reinstated.
Now nurse practitioners were in training for a year as probationers, and many of those trained stayed on to work at the Infirmary. From November 1876 nurses also received lectures from the honorary staff.
A ‘Nursing Institution’ was proposed in 1870, but a new building for this purpose was not opened until 1879. The one year training course was extended to three years by the 1880s, during which time Leeds had gained a reputation for its nurse training. An extension to a four-year training course was made in 1905, where nurses in their fourth year were given the title of ‘Staff Nurse’.
1919 was a turning point, as the year when the nurse registration process came into being. This was due to the passing of The Nurses Registration Act in that year, which led to the formation of the General Nursing Council and nurse examinations. With the new system, a Sister Tutor was appointed to provide the nurses lectures in anatomy, physiology and hygiene. State Registration was introduced in 1921.
The Infirmary established a Preliminary Training School in 1919. Two years later the University of Leeds became the first university in Europe to establish a Diploma in Nursing. The Infirmary was also one of the first teaching hospitals in England to train State Enrolled Nurses (SEN). Nurse training continues to be provided at the University of Leeds within the School of Healthcare.
S.T. Anning, The General Infirmary at Leeds Volume I: The First Hundred Years 1767-1869 (E&S Livingstone Ltd, Edinburgh & London, 1963) and, The General Infirmary at Leeds Volume II: The Second Hundred Years 1869-1965, (E&S Livingstone Ltd, Edinburgh & London, 1966)
The nurse training registers were a gift of the School of Healthcare Studies. They were previously listed on the Special Collections online catalogue as a collection-level description only.
These records were catalogued as part of the Wellcome Trust-funded Medical Collections Project (2015-2018).
The registers have been arranged into four series, to represent the four different types of registers:
MS 1656/1: Nurse Probationer Registers
MS 1656/2: Nurse Training Registers: Private Records
MS 1656/3: Nurses Training Registers
MS 1656/4: Territorial Army Nursing Service Registers
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