Family History Federation

Devon & Exeter Hospital – Register of Nurses – 1881 – 1902

This booklet was compiled by members of the Devon Family History Society in co-operation with the Devon Records Office. The booklet provides an extract of some information and further details may be obtained from the Devon Records Office. The Devon and Exeter Hospital in Southernhay, Exeter, had its own training school for nurses. Two registers of nurses are indexed in these books. The earliest register contains the names of the charge nurses who worked in the hospital in the 1890s, but the main section of this register, and all of the later register, is concerned with assistant nurses and probationers, beginning in the late 1880s at the time when nurses were struggling for recognition as professionals. The registers give the names of nurses, their starting and leaving dates and details of their training and career. The charge nurses had often trained outside Devon and came to Exeter for a few years before moving on to another hospital elsewhere, or to private nursing. Some of the assistant nurses and probationers were local to Devon, but many of them came to Exeter to continue their training. Some of the women left very quickly, either because they did not like the work or because they were thought not suitable for nursing. The register records their names and addresses, their religion, their training and their employment in the hospital. The fact that there was no state registration of nurses at this time and that nurses moved from one hospital to another to further their career, means that it can be difficult to track down an ancestor who was involved in nursing. This index will make it much easier to find a family member who nursed in Devon and to discover more about them. Not all the information in the registers has been extracted for this index and we recommend that the original registers are consulted once it is known that the name of a specific nurse is included in them.


SKU : D156

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