'Under These Conditions Rank Was Barely Recognised': British Nursing Sisters’ Quest for Collaboration on Active Service in the Second World War

Dr Jane Brooks, RN, SFHEA, Senior Lecturer, Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Manchester

Link to 'Under These Conditions Rank Was Barely Recognised': British Nursing Sisters’ Quest for Collaboration on Active Service in the Second World War event
Wednesday, 6th February, 2019
16:00 - 17:30
University of Chester Riverside Campus

The nursing sisters of the British Army who went to war between 1939 and 1945, had trained in a civilian system in which nurses were subordinated by gender and profession to the male doctor. In war zones in which returning men to the front to fight was the primary consideration, the exigencies of active service overseas demanded a new way of working between the doctors and nurses. The inter- and intra-professional conflicts of civilian practice needed to become more collaborative and less hierarchical. 

In this talk I will argues that nurses and doctors were able to re-negotiate their professional relationships in war but I concede that any improved modes of inter-professional workings had been contingent on the work taking place in a war zone. On demobilisation and return to the civilian hospital system, the inroads nurses had made to more collaborative workings were lost.

Out now in hardback: Jane Brooks, Negotiating Nursing: British Army sisters and soldiers in the Second World War (Manchester University Press 2018).

Host: Faculty of Health and Social Historical Society

The University’s Faculty of Health and Social Care (FHSC) Historical Society aims to unite individuals with an interest in medicine, nursing, midwifery and social work across the University and the wider community. The Society meets regularly for a range of talks and discussion and anyone with an interest in health and social care or social history is welcome to attend.

Admission free but booking necessary.

Please contact Roger Whiteley (r.whiteley@chester.ac.uk, 01244 511619) to confirm your place.

There is no car parking available at the Riverside Campus (formerly County Hall) and access to the lecture rooms is through the main entrance, opposite the River Dee. The address is: University of Chester, Riverside Campus, Castle Drive, Chester CH1 1SL.

The Faculty of Health and Social Care Riverside Museum will also be open between 1pm and 4pm.