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New archive celebrates history of intrepid district nurses

An archive celebrating community nursing and covering the more than 150 years since the first district nurse was employed in England in 1859 is being made public in a website launched by the Queen’s Nursing Institute

Historic black and white photos of intrepid district nurses crossing remote countryside and terraced streets strung with washing are part of a new website showcasing the history of community nursing.

The site, launched by the Queens Nursing Institute (QNI), covers the more than 150 years since the first district nurse was employed in England in 1859.

The vibrant archive of stories, photos, artefacts and film is now available to a much wider online audience.

Sharing stories

Some content dates back to Victorian times, while other items, such as oral interviews with retired Queens Nurses, capture the essence of working as a district nurse during the early years of the NHS.

Watch: 1952 District Nurse

QNI chief executive Crystal Oldman said: It is an honour to showcase the experiences of

Historic black and white photos of intrepid district nurses crossing remote countryside and terraced streets strung with washing are part of a new website showcasing the history of community nursing.

Picture: QNI

The site, launched by the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI), covers the more than 150 years since the first district nurse was employed in England in 1859.

The vibrant archive of stories, photos, artefacts and film is now available to a much wider online audience.

Sharing stories

Some content dates back to Victorian times, while other items, such as oral interviews with retired Queen’s Nurses, capture the essence of working as a district nurse during the early years of the NHS.


Watch: 1952 District Nurse


QNI chief executive Crystal Oldman said: ‘It is an honour to showcase the experiences of historic, retired and working Queen’s Nurses in this way and to share the development and achievements of the QNI over the generations. We are delighted to have launched our new heritage website to round off our 130th anniversary year.’

The QNI hopes the archive, which was funded by a £5,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, will continue to grow as nurses and their patients share their own stories.


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