In Ireland, as in many other countries, the education and training of nurses is undergoing reform and what was a vocation is becoming a profession." A History of Apprenticeship Nurse Training in Ireland" traces the progress of nurse education, presenting a new authoritative and scholarly 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. It resided outside the mainstream of higher educational provision and provided nurses with the knowledge and technical skills for sick nursing. It also functioned to socialize them into the role of hospital worker and to inculcate in them nursing's value systems. This system of training provided a ready supply of skilled, efficient, inexpensive and loyal workers. Gerard M. Fealy exposes social, cultural, political and economic factors that have influenced this provision and reform of nurse training, and demonstrates how these factors have shaped modern nursing in Ireland. He critically examines current historiography, bringing the hidden role of nurses and nursing to the fore.
Based on extensive primary sources, this in-depth study is essential reading for scholars and students of nursing history and Irish social history.