Based on new research using previously unpublished sources, this compelling text is an in-depth study of the history of nurse education in Ireland, presenting a new authoritative account of the history of the traditional system of training in Ireland.

Introduced as part of the reforms of hospital nursing in the late nineteenth century, apprenticeship nurse training was a vocational extension of secondary education. Residing outside the mainstream of higher educational provision it provided nurses with the knowledge and technical skills for sick nursing, whilst also functioning to socialise them into the role of hospital worker and introduce to them nursing’s value systems. This method of training provided a ready supply of skilled, efficient, inexpensive and loyal workers.

In a chronological period spanning over a century, the book traces the development of modern nursing in Ireland, bringing the hidden role of nurses and nursing to the fore. It analyzes and describes the development, provision and gradual reform of hospital nursing, taking into account the social, cultural, political and economic factors that led to its establishment, its continuance, and eventual demise.

chapter |3 pages


chapter 2|19 pages

‘Nursing arrangements’

Nursing policy in Dublin in the late nineteenth century

chapter 3|22 pages

Hospitals in transition

Two case studies of nursing reform

chapter 4|21 pages

‘Exemplary conduct and character’

The lady nurses of the Dublin hospitals

chapter 6|18 pages

‘Knowledge of her work’

The curriculum c.1899–1949

chapter 9|5 pages