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New RCN exhibition opens on military nursing history

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The Royal College of Nursing has launched its first ever defence nursing exhibition, celebrating nurses who have served at the “very heart of world conflict”.

The exhibition – titled For Queen and Country: Nursing, Trauma and War – covers the First World War to modern conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I am so proud to launch this remarkable exhibition”

Anna Crossley

Featuring artefacts, diaries, postcards and more, it is intended to bring to life the stories of nurses who cared for soldiers throughout the past century, said the college.

Its guest curators are Major Chris Carter, chair of the RCN Defence Nursing Forum, and Dr Claire Chatterton, chair of the RCN History of Nursing Society.

Running until 23 September 2017, the exhibition coincides with a Heritage Lottery Fund project to uncover the stories of nine nurses who served in WW1, as previously reported.

The RCN will preserve and digitise the nurses’ long-archived scrapbooks and diaries and welcome nurse and poet Molly Case as its first Writer in Residence for the duration of the exhibition.

The exhibition was officially launched on Monday evening with a special event attended by some of the military’s long serving veterans.

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Anna Crossley

Anna Crossley, reservist army nurse and RCN professional lead for acute, emergency and critical care, said: “I am so proud to launch this remarkable exhibition, which shows the diverse history of military nurses over the past 100 years.

“Everyone knows the variety of nursing in the UK, but few think about those serving in conflict zones, battling disease and treating life-threatening injuries,” she said.

“This exhibition shines a light on their incredible work and brings home the reality of what it is to care for others in the midst of a conflict,” she added.


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