'Visiting rights only' : the early experience of nursing in higher education, 1918-1960
This thesis explores the entry into, and early experience, of nursing in higher education, between 1918 and 1960. Because nursing education originated in the monotechnic environment of the hospital, it did not easily translate into the domain of the university. Accordingly, the status of nursing as a profession was compromised. Thus the professional status of nursing as a discipline of study is ambiguous and `in-between'. This historical survey from 1918 to 1960, has been undertaken using a three strand approach, reading documents, viewing film and conducting oral histories. The scope of the study will trace three different courses which were instituted at university colleges around the country; the Diplomas in Nursing; the sister tutor; and health visitor courses. The study will also consider the special probationer schemes, that is nurse training schemes in hospitals in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, for middle and occasionally upper-class, educated women; training for which these women would pay. These schemes are included by way of an introduction, in order to gauge some of the early ambiguities relating to the professional status of the nurse. This study was undertaken in order to demonstrate that although the professional status of nursing and its place in higher education were, and probably still are ambiguous, significant attempts were made in the early twentieth century to establish nursing as a discipline of study within the academy, when women's place in general within that sector was an anomaly.