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Welcome to our sixteenth news page here at Schools of Nursing.
'Collecting... Certificates - paper evidence!' was our June 2010 issue collecting theme. From the subsequent, admittedly small number, of somewhat impassioned pleas, and at least one expression of frustration (which sounded like 'very' to me) - I could perhaps lay some claim to psychic activity!
But not really. I can't speak for everyone, but in my own experience as both a student and as a nurse teacher, the golden rules emphasized at the start of nurse training was 'Do not lose your index number; do not lose your syllabus and do not lose your practical training record - under any circumstances'. Likewise at the end - do not lose your records, your certificates of training, and evidence of State Registration. You don't have to be a psychic to know that someone, somewhere, will end up needing the paper evidence of their training and will not be able to produce it... And at the very time that they find that it is essential to have it.
Take the test! Can you, hand on heart, produce your records and certificates - now?!
Or are you one of the majority who 'know' where they are - and that even if they turn out not to be (!) - you know where you can get copies? I mean, you know where you trained; you know when you trained; you know the people who trained you; the people who kept your records; and you know that the statutory body (right now the NMC) will have your records and be able to confirm your training. Don't you?
Herein lies the problem. You know who you are, but I probably don't and need to ask you for evidence that, personally and professionally, you are who and what you say you are. With the training and experience you claim to possess. Which is especially true if you want to work overseas (or already do), where you might want to take further training, or to seek promotion or other advancement in your career. Your knowing all about you just isn't enough - you have to be able to prove it to everybody's satisfaction.
The situation is complicated in the UK by the several changes in nurse education in the working lifetime of many current nurses. The GNC's (General Nursing Councils) were taken over by new statutory bodies. Firstly the UKCC and then by the present NMC. They were and are responsible for state registration issues. But, regardless of the complexities associated with transferring records, they did and do not keep detailed training records of an individual nurse's training. It appears that potential employers, especially overseas employers, and the providers of further training are increasingly demanding this information.
Then take-over of individual (pre-university) schools of nursing also seems to have led to difficulties for nurses trained at them - knowing which universities took over their schools. Some universities took over schools which were later taken over by yet other universities! What happened to the training records of thousands of nurses at the time of the take-over's seems to be an open question. The chance of a nurse from a pre-university school obtaining her records of training seems remote.
Member Photograph Galleries.
The galleries are becoming a
small on-line museum and are adding to our knowledge of nursing history quite
nicely, thanks to our contributors. It is available to anyone who cares to
register as a member - a very simple process. All is free...
Collecting... More badges!
And not at all surprising, at least in my own case, as I was on holiday and had just a little more time to spend looking for them - and wondering if we had covered all the possible collecting combinations...
My conclusion, unsurprisingly, was no. The number of possible combinations is as individual as the individual collector. But I did come up with a couple of possibly interesting combinations. The first now seem obvious, but it was new to me. Collect the possible series from one hospital... One, for example, from each year a badge was issued. That could be just a little boring taken at face value, but if the badges were inscribed with nurse names and date issued, what a record that could be. Not only a badge but a record of a nurse's name who trained there for every year. Some hospitals, like the London, issued more than one badge design and some, like the Nightingale school, had different designs for registered and enrolled nurses. Collect one of each design for each hospital/school possible. Now that would be a collectors set and a half...
But, like all idle wonderings about what could be, I failed, until later, to see a real collector challenge. That was probably because I had recently achieved it whilst in pursuit of nurse histories. Collect sets from married couples!! Especially couples who trained and worked in different hospitals, followed more or less separate careers. Following the many years of 'unmarried nurses only' rules, I can't help but wonder who were the first registered nurses to marry. Or even (more unlikely) who married first and then completed their training together? If you know of such a couple please do let us know.
Back to reality. I already had (in a way) one such complete set - my own and that of my wife... But then collecting ones own badges feels a bit of a cheat, so they are not part of any collection.
But then the opportunity to acquire the badges of two other married nurses (now retired) Mr Tony Sisson and his wife appeared. Having grasped it with both hands I became the custodian of the complete set - including almost all the original certificates - just a couple of GNC certificates having managed to mislay themselves over the years.
There is also another badge which
belonged to Nancy Yuille - that of the International Association of
Soroptimists. But no, before you start reaching for your medical
textbooks, this was an international organisation of professional women and
businesswomen, founded in California in 1921, which promoted public service.
Both Tony and Nancy supported public service. Nancy also being a member of the WVS Civil Defence Association - a superb red-enameled chromium badge. The nurse history of Anthony (Tony) Sisson has been entrusted to us for production. More, the collections were acquired on the understanding that they will remain together. They will. As far as I am aware they are unique...
I did, naturally (!) acquire one or two other badges - including an
extremely well kept example of the earlier (larger, perforated design),
badge of The London Hospital in original box - circa 1914-18. A time when
any nurse working in a London Hospital must have been faced with many WWI
casualties, both military and otherwise. What it must have been like
actually entering nurse training and completing the process at that time....
The District Nurse buckle - and 21 year long service badge I acquired pale,
perhaps, in the splendor of the former, but may well have similar histories.
Imagine. Imagine that you found
the first GNC badge ever issued - but sold it on for a fiver because it was
marked E. Gordon Manson and not E. Bedford Fenwick... Forgive yourself? You never would....!
Another Photograph from the past...This time
Marjorie Earley was born 13th September 1909
in Chester to Mary Alice and Henry William Webb.
ill with Scarlet Fever during childhood was to change the course of her life. She was sent to
hospital and her stay there fired her with the resolve to become a
nurse. Being a determined young woman she could not be dissuaded from the
course of action. She enrolled at St. Mary’s Hospital Portsmouth to begin
In February 1932 Marjorie took her
Preliminary Exam and a month later was informed by the General Nursing
Council that she had passed.
In November 1933 Marjorie passed her Finals and
became entitled to call herself a Registered Nurse. After
midwifery training her
name was entered on the Midwives Roll in August
1934. But Marjorie was also
a soldier, serving overseas, like many of her contemporaries, in the QARANC
T.A. during WWII. The story is well worth the telling...
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