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Int Hist Nurs J. 2000 Spring;5(2):20-7.

Nurse education at the London Homeopathic Hospital 1903-1947: preparation for professional specialists or marginalised Cinderellas?

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Imperial College School of Medicine, London, UK.


This paper provides a summarised account of research in progress on Nurses' Registers from the London Homoeopathic Hospital, 1903-1947. The particular question addressed in this paper relates to nurses role in homoeopathy at the hospital during the above period, as it emerges from the registers. Comparison with nursing at the hospital in the 1990s is provided by reference to a research report by Clara Harris, who conducted research on contemporary nurses' role at the hospital. The role of nurses is seen in the context of the uneasy relationship between homoeopathic and orthodox doctors. Research on the Nurses' Registers forms part of a larger project concerning the history of the London Homoeopathic Hospital from 1889 till 1947. The first phase of the research, conducted jointly by Bernard Leary (a homoeopathic doctor) and Anna Bosanquet (a social scientist) and author (1993-95), and funded by the Wellcome Trust, related to analysis of 300 volumes of clinical patient notes (approximately 60,000 individual records) from the period 1889-1923, which were found in the hospital basement by the domestic services manager in 1992. Phase 2 of this research project is being undertaken by the author without funding and was commenced in 1996. Nurses' Registers from the period 1903-1947 were analysed in detail, recording a wide range of information about student nurses at the hospital during this period. Data from the 1903-1947 registers will be compared with information collected by Clara Harris in a project funded by the old North East Thames Regional Health Authority in 1922. The role of nurses in the nineteenth century and at the present time will be seen in the context of medical homoeopathic practice, and the relevant research by Nicholls is referred to briefly. It is important to stress that the discussion relates to homoeopathic nursing, not to nurses who have left their nursing posts to become 'lay' homoeopaths (the title used by homoeopathic doctors for all non-medical homoeopathic practitioners).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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