Welcome to the UK Association for the History of Nursing (UKAHN)

The Association is autonomous and self-governing, and a constituent member of the European Association for the History of Nursing (EAHN). The membership comprises individuals who are historians of nursing.

As well as information about the association you fill find other resources on the site to help researchers and others, interested in the history of nursing.


Did you take part in the 1988 strikes?

We have received a request for participants in what looks like an interesting and valuable feature – if this is you, please do get in touch with Moira who says:

I’m a freelance journalist, and until last month was a senior editor at Stylist, one of the UK’s biggest women’s magazines – specialising in feminism and politics.

I’m currently in the early stages of researching a feature on the history of nursing strikes in the UK – inspired by the possible industrial action currently being considered by the RCN and Unison. I’m planning on pitching this feature to national publications once I’ve got a few details firmed up.

I am keen to speak to a nurse who was involved in the strike action of 1988. I was wondering if there was anyone involved in UKAHN who took part in this strike and would be happy to speak with me about their memories of the event?

Kind regards,

Moya Crockett moyacrockettfreelance@gmail.com

Upcoming events from the RCN:

 – Nursing a Pandemic: Learning Disability Nursing

23rd September –  Join us for the 9th event in our series recording the nursing experience of the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic: https://www.rcn.org.uk/news-and-events/events/lib-nursing-a-pandemic-learning-disability-230921

 – Explore Your Nursing Family History for Black History Month (Virtual Event)

7 October 2021, 6 – 7.15pm

This loooks like a fantasitic event to learn how to trace your nursing family tree – for nurses of all heritages:

Free, book your place here: https://www.rcn.org.uk/news-and-events/events/lib-explore-your-nursing-history

– Memoirs of an NHS Black Mental Health Nurse (Virtual Event)

22 October 2021, 6 – 7pm

Free, book your place here: https://www.rcn.org.uk/news-and-events/events/lib-memoirs-black-mh-nurse-221021

Carol Webley-Brown joined the National Health Service as a student nurse more than forty years ago. In this special event to launch her new book, Memoirs of an NHS Black Mental Health Nurse 1979-2021, she will share an overview of her life, in psychiatric training and care as well as accident and emergency nursing, teaching in universities, general practice nursing, caring for her terminally ill husband and volunteering in Ghana.

Through her story, Webley-Brown seeks to break down the walls of racism and raise the profile of Black nurses. She starts the difficult conversation with the intention of slowly dismantling institutional, structural and systemic racism.

This session is open to everyone. Sign up to attend and a Zoom link will be sent to you before the event

Congratulations to The Young Historians Project on the launch of: A Hidden History: African Women and the British Health Service in the 20th Century 

Great to see this excellent and long -awaited project reach its publication phase: If you missed it, the launch of the e-book and podcast which can be accessed via there website here.

Her War:  What does nursing do to nurses?

Her War, a new opera for soprano and trumpet about WWI nurses’ experiences of nursing trauma and PTSD, premiered at the Tête-à-Tête Festival 2021. Following the live premiere at the Cockpit Theatre, Gateforth, an Interactive Broadcast was recorded on 29 July. It was great to see our own Amanda Gwinnup, whose PhD is investigating  the post-war experiences of Britain’s nurse veterans who were left disabled due to their war service, speaking alongside the cast and developers about her role in advising on the script. Great also to hear nurses’ voices represented in this creative medium. Amanda’s blog explains more and can be found here.

The RCN History of Nursing Forum is seeking suggestions of nurses to nominate for inclusion in  the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:
Nurses are under represented in this important dictionary, and those included are not representative of our wide and varied profession. Do you have a nurse in mind who might be included? Teresa Doherty, Joint Head, Library and Archive Service at Royal College of Nursing offers more detail, and how to nominate, here.
The RCN Library and Archive: Past Caring

This is a new podcast series about the history of nursing. Each episode takes inspiration from RCN Library and Archive exhibitions exploring topics such as women’s health, myths about nursing, and learning disability nursing.

Past Caring is available on most podcast platforms. Listen to the first episode on Soundcloud here or subscribe to the series on Apple Podcasts.





‘People are curiously incredulous of a danger they cannot see’. In her blog,  Sarah Rogers [PhD student University of Huddersfield] expands on this quote, From Eva Luckes, Matron of the London over 100 years ago, which sums up the problem, then as now, of people’s inability to understand infection

Cancellation: 23rd UK Association for the History of Nursing Research Colloquium, Tuesday 29th June 2021.

After much deliberation the UKAHN committee have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 colloquium, planned to take place in Chichester on June 29th, in the light  of the ongoing uncertainty about the course of the current pandemic.

We very much hope that the 2022 colloquium (planned for the summer  but with the date to be confirmed) will go ahead. It will be held in Manchester. Details will be posted on this website, Twitter and Mailchimp.

















Her War

Her War by  Amanda Lynn Gwinnup I am a PhD student in my final year at the University of Huddersfield, my thesis, provisionally titled Invisible Illnesses and Hidden Disabilities due to be submitted in 2022, Read more…