Nurse! Nurse!: A Student Nurses Story


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However, since the training was largely vocational and the content determined by individual matrons, experiences varied wildly.

Nurse's cap

For those undertaking this training its main feature was work and discipline. The Nursing Reconstruction Committee, led by Dr. Thomas Horder, spent 8 years investigating the system between and and reported that nurse training was placing too great a burden on probationers. Hours of work were also a stretchy concept, with students expected to keep working until all their duties were completed regardless of how long it took, and then to attend classes in their spare time.

Little social life was permitted and living out of the nursing home usually forbidden, making nurse training virtually incompatible with married life. This, the Horder Committee concluded, led to 54 per cent of nursing recruits dropping out before they completed their studies. Horder recommended the end of the harsh disciplinary regimes typical of nurse training, a reduction in the amount of domestic labour required from students, an improvement in food and accommodation, and the introduction of fixed shifts and more training.

Despite receiving a small pay rise, an increase in National Insurance and pensions payments meant that the students pay packets were even smaller than before the founding day of the new service.

A nursing student's story

Hospitals needed cheap nurses. Students needed a wage. But the Royal College of Nursing RCN was keen to establish the professional status of their members and thus emphasised the educational status of new recruits.


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The s and s featured recurrent divisions over the issue of student status. Meanwhile the expectations of what student nurses should do were gradually beginning to change. Such positions were increasingly filled by immigrant women often from the Caribbean often specifically directed into SEN training by the Ministry of Health.

A nursing student's story

As on many other occasions, the exploitation of primarily black and Asian workers helped the NHS overcome its structural shortcomings. Even still, by , student nurses were still doing three quarters of all hospital nursing work, with registered nurses SRNs mainly taking supervisory tasks. Although their role as cheap labour stubbornly clung on, cultural changes made the kind of discipline and living arrangements featured in nursing training increasingly untenable.

By the s many of the social and cultural restrictions placed on student nurses had declined. It was at this point, with the position of the student nurse shifting under the impact of changing attitudes towards gender roles and work more generally that nurse training shifted towards universities. In , the first nursing degree was established at the University of Edinburgh, and in nurse training was reorganised to encourage the spread of nursing degrees. Nurse training gradually moved towards something more like its modern incarnation, with a split between degrees and diplomas, with access to the former partially determining access to higher grades and specialised nursing.

Ashgate, , pp. Pamela Dale and Anne Borsay eds. Manchester University Press, Your email address will not be published. When on the wards which seemed to be most of the time we did a 42 hour working week and we definitely did work. Not that long into out training we were left in charge of wards at night. We had to live in the nurses home for the first 12 months.

We had to kneel down in front of our tutors for them to check that they touched the ground. Although my lodging was included we had to pay for our own food. Thank you for sharing this.


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    Nicole is currently in the fourth semester of nursing, and spent the last two years doing a combination of on-campus learning and field placements. A draw of Centennial's nursing program is the facilities at the Morningside Campus's Nursing Lab, designed to replicate a real hospital ward as accurately as possible, including our Simulation Labs. If you were a nurse in this real life situation, what would you do? If there's one thing the simulation taught me, it's to prioritize and remain calm.


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    • If you as a healthcare giver can't remain calm in a stressful situation, then there's no way you can help them. She views that critical thinking as an important skill at Centennial College. You get a pencil.

      Student nurses: When is a nurse a student?

      What are things you can do with it? That's how Centennial works. She saw this as a positive, though.

      Nurse! Nurse!: A Student Nurses Story Nurse! Nurse!: A Student Nurses Story
      Nurse! Nurse!: A Student Nurses Story Nurse! Nurse!: A Student Nurses Story
      Nurse! Nurse!: A Student Nurses Story Nurse! Nurse!: A Student Nurses Story
      Nurse! Nurse!: A Student Nurses Story Nurse! Nurse!: A Student Nurses Story
      Nurse! Nurse!: A Student Nurses Story Nurse! Nurse!: A Student Nurses Story
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