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New Zealand Nurses

Thursday 20 May 2021 12:38pm

Caring for our people 1880–1950

Pamela Wood

The book

Wood NZ Nurses websiteAuthor Pamela Wood’s New Zealand Nurses draws on a wealth of nurses’ personal stories to identify the values, traditions, community and folklore of the nursing culture from 1880 – when hospital reforms began to formally introduce ‘modern nursing’ into New Zealand – to 1950, three years after New Zealand severed its final tie as part of the British Empire.

In the late nineteenth century, British nurses who had been trained in the system established by Florence Nightingale began to spread across the world. This was the British nursing diaspora and New Zealand was its southernmost landfall. New Zealand Nurses explores the growth of a distinctly Kiwi nursing style and how nurses in this part of the globe responded to, and ultimately came to challenge, imperial influences.

New Zealand Nurses is rich in detail and understated humour as it examines the nursing cultures that emerged in a range of different settings and circumstances: from hospitals to homes, rural backblocks to Māori settlements, and from war and disaster zones to nursing through a pandemic.

‘A pleasure to read – an insightful analysis of a key occupation with lively stories that will have great appeal to nurses and all those interested in women’s history.’ – Barbara Brookes, Professor Emerita, MNZM

‘An important and fascinating account of New Zealand nurses and nursing through the late 19th to the mid-20th century. Wood has deftly woven historical events and multiple sources to reveal a unique Aotearoa nursing identity. The nurses’ narratives shine through.’ – Lorraine Ritchie RN, PhD.

The author

Pamela Wood is a retired academic, registered nurse and independent historian. She taught in undergraduate and postgraduate nursing programmes and postgraduate health programmes for 30 years and is the author of Dirt: Filth and decay in a New World Arcadia.

Reviews and Interviews

Jim Sullivan reviews New Zealand Nurses by Pamela Wood for the Otago Daily Times Read
Bruce Monro features New Zealand Nurses in the Otago Daily Time's Weekend Mix Read
Kevin Norquay writes about New Zealand Nurses for Stuff NZ Read
Ruth Todd interviews Pamela Wood for Bookenz, Plains FM Listen

Publication details

Paperback, 240 x 170mm, 376pp
ISBN 9781990048326, $45