RCN Virtual Nursing History Events January-March 2021


All these virtual events are free and open to non-RCN members.

Florence Nightingale Comes Home 

January 21, 2021, 17:30-18:30 GMT

Professor Paul Crawford, Dr Anna Greenwood, and Dr Richard Bates

Join us for a roundtable with the Florence Nightingale Comes Home for 2020 project at the University of Nottingham. The project has resulted in a more complex historical and literary understanding of Florence Nightingale by mapping her family and home connections and analysing how her regional experiences, not least in Derbyshire, impacted her career, attitudes, and writings.

Pictures of Nursing: Nurses and Nursing on Postcards 1890-1910

February 11, 2021, 17:30-18:30 GMT

Dr Julia Hallam

Pictures of Nursing is a travelling exhibition and digital resource curated by Julia Hallam (historian of nursing at the University of Liverpool) for the National Library of Medicine, NIH, Washington, DC based on a collection of 2,500 postcards donated to the Library by Michael Zwerdling, a former hospice nurse. The cards date between the late 1890s and the 1980s and depict nurses and nursing from twenty countries worldwide. Hallam’s talk will focus primarily on the years 1890 – 1910, a period known as the golden age of the postcard, and trace the dominant trends in the public image of nurses and nursing that emerge at this time.

Black Nurses, Enslaved Labour, and the Royal Navy, 1790-1820

March 25, 2021, 18:00-19:30

Dr Erin Spinney

Nursing historians usually examine the period after Florence Nightingale and focus on the establishment of a white middle-class professional identity, like Nightingale herself.  But what about non-white nurses before Nightingale? For the annual History of Nursing Forum lecture, Dr Erin Spinney discusses the employment of Black nurses in the West Indian naval hospitals of the Royal Navy in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. She considers how eighteenth-century understandings of tropical diseases contributed to Black labour in medical settings, how the Royal Navy navigated its relationship with enslavement, and the working conditions of these nurses.