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Title: Military influence on the British civilian nursing profession, 1939-1969
Author: Starns, Penny
ISNI:       0000 0001 3478 1077
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 1997
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This thesis examines the impact of military influence on civilian nursing development from the outbreak of war in 1939 until the restructuring of nurse administration in 1969. It will be argued that a military imposition on civilian nursing was responsible for hindering professional progress and preventing reform. This argument challenges the orthodox view of nursing history which maintains that nurses adopted a variety of professionalization strategies in order to gain credibility and state recognition. This recognition was only achieved as a result of a thirty year battle, during which status became an over-riding concern. This thesis argues that the medical demands of the Second World War threatened the professional foundations of nursing organization, and nurses responded by adopting militarization strategies in an effort to raise and protect their status. These militarization strategies affected all aspects of nursing practice and organizational development, and held significant implications for the post-war reconstruction of health -care delivery. Traditional studies of nursing history in this period have concentrated on the civilian nursing records alone, and have therefore overlooked the military dimension of nursing development. This study uses civilian nursing records, including those of the General Nursing Council and the Royal College of Nursing, in conjunction with military nursing records, including those of the War Office, and the correspondence and diaries of military A comparative analysis of these records proves that the militarization of nursing was an important issue. The analysis explores the interchange of military and civilian nursing personnel during the Second World War, and examines four key relationships in the post-war era: betweengovernment and nursing policy, between nurse leadership and nursing practice, between nurses and other occupational groups, and between various nursing grades at ward level. This analysis exposes the various ways in which militarism has infiltrated these relationships, and has been allowed to dictate the direction and scope of nursing development
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History