“Wake Up Slackers!” The Great Registration Controversy

2 October 2019

After decades of campaigning by nurses, the Nurses Registration Act was finally passed in December 1919. It marked the recognition of nursing as a profession. But registration was not without controversy. Different nursing organisations clashed over stridently opposed ideas. Meanwhile, “anti-registration” views remained strong. The College of Nursing called for its members to get involved in politics by demanding: “wake up slackers”!

This exhibition commemorates 100 years of nursing registration in the UK by delving into the heated arguments that characterised the registration debate. Antagonistic and often entertaining, the theme also encourages us to reflect on the future of nursing. Is a nurse born or made, Edwardian campaigners wondered. How do we teach or examine care? And is compassion an innate trait or something that can be taught?

17 October 2019 – 20 March 2020

9am – 7pm

RCN Library and Heritage Centre, 20 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0RN