Family History Research at LHSA

Was your ancestor a Nurse?

LHSA holds training records and/or registers of nurses for several hospitals including the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, the Royal Maternity Hospital (later known as the Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion), Royal Edinburgh Hospital for Sick Children, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, and the Chalmers, Deaconess, Bruntsfield, Elsie Inglis, Bangour Village and City Hospitals.  We also hold a large number of photographs of nurses but unfortunately not many of them are named. 

For a comprehensive list of records available, please use our Source List.

Nursing Source List

Please note that personnel records created within the last 100 years are covered by the Data Protection Act 2018. Scottish Government guidelines also mean that there are access restrictions on records about deceased NHS staff. We are happy to advise enquirers on a case-by-case basis.


Further information on restrictions on access

To get started

1) Look up the collection catalogue for the particular hospital you are interested in to find out what records are available.

Edinburgh and Lothian Hospital Catalogues

Dingleton Hospital

Advice on Searching our Catalogues

2) Contact us to make an appointment to come in and consult the records, or to make an enquiry.

Contact Us

Non-LHSA sources

A useful source for finding out where a nurse was trained is the Register of Nurses, maintained by the General Nursing Council for Scotland. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) archive keeps these: they have been digitised and are available through Ancestry. The RCN archive holds a great many other records useful to genealogists seeking nursing ancestors. You can find out more here.


The National Records of Scotland also have records from the General Nursing Council for Scotland.


During the 1960s and 1970s, local nursing colleges were established to organise nurse and midwifery training, taking the place of nursing schools run by individual hospitals. We do not hold student records for the colleges of nursing and midwifery which began to be established in Lothian. Since nurse training was eventually taken over by universitites, Napier University hold some some student records from the local nursing colleges.