A History of Apprenticeship Nurse Training in Ireland

By Gerard Fealy

© 2005 – Routledge

216 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415655040
pub: 2012-11-15
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415359979
pub: 2005-11-03
US Dollars$185.00

About the Book

Based on new research using previously unpublished sources, this compelling text is an in-depth study of the history of nurse education in Ireland, presenting a new authoritative account of the history of the traditional system of training in Ireland.

Introduced as part of the reforms of hospital nursing in the late nineteenth century, apprenticeship nurse training was a vocational extension of secondary education. Residing outside the mainstream of higher educational provision it provided nurses with the knowledge and technical skills for sick nursing, whilst also functioning to socialise them into the role of hospital worker and introduce to them nursing’s value systems. This method of training provided a ready supply of skilled, efficient, inexpensive and loyal workers.

In a chronological period spanning over a century, the book traces the development of modern nursing in Ireland, bringing the hidden role of nurses and nursing to the fore. It analyzes and describes the development, provision and gradual reform of hospital nursing, taking into account the social, cultural, political and economic factors that led to its establishment, its continuance, and eventual demise.


Between the 1950's and 1990's, what Fealy surprises us with is how authorities continued to resist reducing the clinical hours stuident nurses maintained. In addition, he makes a strong arguement that the unwillingness to move nursing education out of the hospital only prolonged Ireland's failure to standardize nurse training.

Dr Margaret Preston - Nursing History

Table of Contents

Foreword 1. Introduction 2. Charity, Medical Relief, and Precursors of the Modern Nurse 3. ‘Nursing Arrangements’: Nursing policy in Dublin in the late nineteenth century 4. Hospitals in Transition: Two case studies of nursing reform 5. ‘Exemplary Conduct and Character’: The lady nurses of the Dublin hospitals 6. Professional Regulation and the General Nursing Council for Ireland 7. ‘Knowledge of her Work’: The curriculum, c. 1899–1949 8. The Nursing Board and the Training Experience, 1950–1979 9. From the Hospital to the Academy, 1980–1994 10. Conclusions

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Allied Health Services / General
MEDICAL / Nursing / General
MEDICAL / Nursing / Research & Theory