Reciprocal rewards: British poor law nursing and the campaign for state registration
Kirby, S. (2002) Reciprocal rewards: British poor law nursing and the campaign for state registration. International History of Nursing Journal, 7 (2). pp. 4-13. ISSN 1360-1105
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In the pages of her publications 'The Nursing Record' and 'The British Journal of Nursing', Mrs Bedford Fenwick portrayed the Poor Law nurses as struggling against the forces of parsimony and ignorance in the persons of the workhouse master and matron. The representation of these women as victims of the system rescued by Mrs Bedford Fenwick disguises their considerable achievements towards improving the quality of care for their deprived patients. This paper examines how the Poor Law nurses seized the opportunity afforded by the campaign for State Registration to further their cause in developing a professional nursing service for a neglected group of patients.