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Nursing Registers (Ancestry)

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Nursing Registers (Ancestry)

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:22 pm

September's WDYTYA magazine landed here today and I was interested in the article by Michelle Higgs about Nursing Records - specifically in relation to Ancestry's recent launch of the UK & Ireland, Nursing Registers, 1898-1968. I'd actually looked for my great-aunt just after the Ancestry stuff was launched and was slightly puzzled to only get 4 records for her - 2 in 1943, then 2 in 1946 and none after, when she was very definitely working as a nurse.

Thanks to Michelle's article I can now see a bit more of what's going on - the extra bits may help others.

Firstly re her non-appearance after 1946: Michelle's article says that:
(1) Registers before 1949 include a nurse whenever they paid the annual fee to appear (and I'm not clear what happened if they didn't appear)
(2) After 1949, Registers only show newly qualified nurses in each year - hence, unless she got a new qualification, great-aunt wouldn't appear after 1949.

But also, it's clear that not all the registers are completely indexed. I browsed the 1947 Register for England & Wales and found her - but the double-head symbol at the bottom of that image is not activated, showing that her pages are not indexed. How far that non-indexing goes, I don't know.

Why 2 records in 1943? One was from the Register for England & Wales, because she was registered in London (in 1940). The other was from the Register for her native Northern Ireland, because that's where she qualified by examination (the Northern Irish exam was recognised in England & Wales, so no need to be re-examined - just registered).

And two records in 1946? Different nursing specialities had different sections in the Register. Both appearances are in the Register for England & Wales - one, in the section for Fever nurses, repeats the previous English & Welsh registration - the second records her qualification as a general nurse (a State Registered Nurse) by examination after a shortened course (she has an asterisk by her dates) at Northampton in 1941-43.

The 1944 Register also appears not to be indexed.

Many of you will be used to using the counter and film strip facilities at the foot of the image to browse back and forth to find things like title pages and explanations in the original. The arrangement of images appears to be a little odd. I was on the 1943 Northern Ireland Register and, wanting to see the title page, entered 1 as the desired image number - should get me the front of the NI register. No - it got me the front of the English & Welsh register. The 2,500 odd images on that film-strip seem to combine both registers. That means it's tricky to find the front page of the NI register for (at least) 1943. I had to go in small chunks until I got some sort of feel for how big the NI register was - and then go a bit at a time. It's vital to show the film strip when you're doing this, so you can see where page titles go, even if you can't read them at that scale.

Fortunately, a combination of the home addresses and the typeface meant it was possible to locate the front of the NI register fairly simply. Also, while they are on the same film strip, the image file-names are quite different between the 2 registers.
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