Digital resources relating to the history of nursing

We have compiled a list of online resources relating to the history nursing, with a particular focus on nursing history in Scotland and England, pioneers of the nursing profession, nurse’s roles in pandemics and epidemics, as well as specialisations including psychiatric and military nursing.


You can find the index to this resource list on the right hand side and we have included some overviews of the history of nursing below:


A Brief History of Nursing in the UK.

Provides overview of key medical advancements, significant events and legislation throughout the history of nursing:


A history of nursing; the evolution of nursing systems from the earliest times to the foundation of the first English and American training schools for nurses, by Mary Adelaide Nutting. Vol . 1907.

Originally published in 1907, this work charts nursing systems from ‘pre-Christian’ era to the formation of nurse training schools. It also provides evidence that nurses themselves were at the forefront of chronicling nursing history:


The History of Nursing in the British Empire, by Sarah A. Tooley. 1906.

This book gives a detailed picture of nursing history in the British Empire:


A (Very) Brief History of Nursing and Midwifery in the NHS.

This blog post gives a succinct overview of the founding of the NHS and how this impacted the nursing profession: