Visiting rights only: The diplomas in nursing in the UK in the interwar period

School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
Nursing Inquiry (Impact Factor: 1.44). 01/2007; 13(4):269-76. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1800.2006.00335.x
Source: PubMed


The aim of this article is to explore the institution and organisation of the diplomas in nursing at the universities of Leeds and London, which were established in 1921 and 1926, respectively. It will be argued that the success of these courses for the individuals who undertook them, and the profession as a whole was ultimately limited. It is accepted that the purpose of the diplomas was at least in part for the nursing elite to maintain their grip on the leadership. Nevertheless, the institution of the courses, when few women in general attended university, identifies a 'radicalness' within the profession, which has rarely been considered. Moreover, that there was a body of nurses capable of university level education challenges previous assumptions.

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    ABSTRACT: BROOKS J and RAFFERTY AM. Nursing Inquiry 2010; 17: 142–150 Education and role conflict in the health visitor profession, 1918–39 Health visiting was the public health profession in the UK, which arose during the Victorian period to support and supervise the mothers of the nation. The health visitor was expected to teach the new mothers hygiene, infant feeding and diet, help them in the home when necessary and then report back to the Medical Officer for Health. Her role therefore was multifaceted and required education and training from a number of differing bodies. She needed nursing skills to help with the practicalities of observation and home care, sanitary knowledge to ensure that the buildings were safe and training in law and epidemiology. In order to fulfil these professional requirements, by the middle of the twentieth century the health visitor was expected to be a nurse by background, be educated for health visiting in a university and understand community medicine. These differing and sometimes opposing requirements meant that the health visitor was often caught in-between conflicting ideologies. It is this idea of ‘in-betweenness’ from the work of the anthropologist Marilyn Strathern and its relation to the work and education of the health visitor that this article will focus.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2010 · Nursing Inquiry