Nursing & Midwifery

Creation of the National Health Service

Display No. 185

The National Health Service (NHS) was created in 1948 and employed 5,637 midwifery staff and 68,013 registered nurses in hospitals in England and Wales a year later. This grew to 26,519 midwifery staff and 320,422 registered nurses by 2018.

This photograph from February 1948 shows trainees holding a newborn at the National Training School for Midwives in London. We know the midwife on the left graduated from the Nightingale Training School for Nurses because she is wearing her silver badge.

© Mirrorpix/Daily Mirror

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Exhibits from ‘Nursing & Midwifery’.

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Nightingale is respected worldwide for her pioneering role in developing the nursing profession, her statistical work, and her evidence-based approach to healthcare. In honour of her bicentenary the World Health Organisation have named 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

In our special exhibition, you will find out about objects, people and places which tell interesting stories about Florence’s life and legacy. You’ll discover artefacts from her life, people she both inspired and challenged, and places she helped to shape. There’s many more insights too!

Please click on the different sections of her famous coxcomb diagram to explore various aspects of her life and legacy. We hope you enjoy exploring!