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A century of professional regulation: what does it mean for nurses today?

Attenborough, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-4018-8445 (2021). A century of professional regulation: what does it mean for nurses today?. Nursing Times, 117(9), pp. 18-21.


On 30 September 1921, the General Nursing Council for England and Wales officially opened the nursing register. The first registrant was Ethel Gordon Fenwick (also known as Ethel Bedford Fenwick), a leading campaigner for the registration of nurses and a strong supporter of women’s suffrage. The campaign for registration was long fought and encountered challenges from prominent nurses in the London teaching hospitals, the renowned hospital administrator, Henry Burdett, and some of the medical profession, despite doctors having established their own register in 1858. This article explores the issues in the movement for the regulation of nurses and midwives, and how they link to contemporary practice and the professional image of nurses. It also considers the current role of the Nursing and Midwifery Council and what being a registrant means to today’s nurses, midwives and nursing associates. Although challenges to registration still exist, there is much to celebrate about the current position of nursing and the range and scope of the profession.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
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