Training mental health nurses in the United Kingdom– a historical overview. Part One: pre 1948.

Chatterton, Claire (2014). Training mental health nurses in the United Kingdom– a historical overview. Part One: pre 1948. Bulletin of the UK Association for the History of Nursing., 3 pp. 22–32.

URL: http://ukahn.org/wp/the-ukahn-bulletin/

Abstract

Mental health nursing in the United Kingdom (UK) has developed as, and continues to be, a distinct area of nursing practice. Unlike countries such as the USA, the UK has never embraced the generic model for nursing and it is still possible to train and be registered as a nurse in four separate fields – general, mental health, learning disability and children’s nursing. In this article the history of the training of those who specialised in mental health nursing is considered and discussed. The content of this training is analysed as is the changing, and often contentious ideas, about what the knowledge base of mental health nursing practice should be. The influences on this are also discussed, particularly the role of medicine (psychiatrists) and general nursing.

This article covers the period up until 1948, which introduction of the British National Health Service. A further article will continue the narrative from 1948 until the present.

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