Catalogue description General Nursing Council for England and Wales: Registration: The Register of Nurses

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Details of DT 10
Reference: DT 10
Title: General Nursing Council for England and Wales: Registration: The Register of Nurses

This series contains the Register of nurses and supplementary registers maintained by the General Nursing Council.

The series contains a list of nurses (SRNs) from 1921 to 1973. Although the register was opened in 1921 it includes details of nurses who qualified previous to this.

Printed nominal indexes are in DT 10/1-56.

DT 10/201 contains the list of nurses which was opened under the 1943 Nurses Act to allow those who had failed to register under the provisions of 1919 to do so.

Date: 1921-1973


The list of nurses who had completed a course of training before July 1925 is contained in one volume with manuscript entries. It dates from January 1944 to September 1949 and nurses are listed in the same divisions as the general and supplementary parts of the register.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Not Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 201 volume(s)
Access conditions: Open
Unpublished finding aids:

An alphabetical list of registered nurses is provided by the printed index. The first printed index, published in 1922, contains the names of nurses registered from September 1921. Subsequent volumes cover all registrations before the end of the previous year, i.e. 1926 includes all registrations up to December 1925. From 1931 the index splits into two volumes, one covering the general part and one the supplementary parts of the register. After 1937 the first part of the general register is contained in Volume 1, the second part and the supplementary parts in volume 2. After 1941 the general part of the register fills two volumes and the supplementary part is contained in volume 3. The names of nurses registered and names removed from the register in 1944 are covered by two supplements dated 1945. The second of these supplements also includes nurses on the list of nurses registered under the Nurses Act 1943. After 1945 the index reverted to the three volume format; the third volume contains both the list of nurses and the supplementary part of the register. 1949 and 1950 are covered by supplements and after 1950 the index was issued as a series of supplements, each covering four months and bound together in volumes covering three or four years.

Administrative / biographical background:

The General Nursing Council (GNC) was required by the Nurses Act 1919 to 'form and keep a Register of Nurses for the sick.' Early council meetings discussed the training and experience required by a properly qualified nurse. The register was opened on 30 September 1921 and was divided into the general part, reserved for female nurses, with supplementary parts for fever nurses, male nurses, mental nurses (with a special section for nurses for mental defectives) and sick children's nurses. The Nurses Act 1949 amalgamated the male nurses part with the general part of the register and the Fever Register was closed on 31 December 1967 when it was felt there was no further need for this specialization.

After the Nurses Act 1949 the council was given the power to consider applications for admission to the register from nurses trained outside the United Kingdom. Manuscript entries were made in the register books until December 1966 after which they were typed. Since 1973 the register has been stored on computer. The books were continuously updated to include new information such as change of name by marriage or removal from the register for non-payment of the retaining fee (until its abolition by the Nurses Act 1949) or following disciplinary procedure.

When the register was first opened, existing nurses were allowed to register before the end of 1923. After that time nurses were only registered after passing recognised examinations. Many thousands of properly trained nurses failed to register within the allotted time. Proposals to open the register for one year to admit these nurses were first put forward in 1933, but not until the Nurses Act 1943 was the GNC instructed to keep a list. The Act specified that nurses who could produce a certificate that they had completed a course of training before the beginning of July 1925 should be entered on the list.

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