Catalogue description Records of the General Nursing Council for England and Wales

Details of DT
Reference: DT
Title: Records of the General Nursing Council for England and Wales

Records of the General Nursing Council for England and Wales (GNC) relating to the GNC's responsibilities for the registration of nurses and nursing education.

The papers have been arranged in twelve categories, representing the main functions of the General Nursing Council: General (DT 1-9); Registration (DT 10-14); Registrar (DT 15-21); Examinations (DT 22-32); Education (DT 33-38); Personnel (DT 39); Solicitor (DT 40); Research Unit (DT 41); Data Processing (DT 42); Overseas (DT 43); Administration (DT 44); Finance (DT 45-47).

Date: c1860-1984
Related material:

See also Records of the English National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting: HE

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Not Public Record(s)
Language: English

General Nursing Council for England and Wales, 1919-1983

Physical description: 48 series
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

From 1983 General Nursing Council for England and Wales

Publication note:

For further information on the history of the General Nursing Council see A History of the General Nursing Council for England and Wales 1919-1969 by E R D Bendall and E Raybould.

Administrative / biographical background:

The General Nursing Council (GNC) was established by the Nurses Registration Act of 1919. In conjunction with the GNCs of Scotland and Ireland, established at the same time, it was to compile and maintain a Register of qualified nurses, and to act as the disciplinary authority of the profession.

The GNC subsequently acquired responsibilities for advising, inspecting, or approving training courses, schools and syllabuses for State Registered Nurses (SRN) in England and Wales. The responsibilities of the GNC were extended by the Nurses Act 1943 to include a Roll for Assistant Nurses, renamed State Enrolled Nurses (SEN) by the Nurses (Amendment) Act 1961. SENs are admitted to training as pupil nurses and enrolled by assessment not examination.

The number of registered and enrolled nurses had increased to such an extent by 1959 that a decision was taken to convert the nurses registration files to jacketed microfilm to save office accommodation. The process was completed by 1973. The Register and Roll, in which were recorded a summary of the qualifications of each registered and enrolled nurse, were also computerised in 1973.

Although the GNC was not the first national nursing registration organisation, it became one of the most influential because of its relationship with hospital training schools and nursing organisations world-wide.

The GNC was one of the nine bodies replaced on 30 June 1983 by the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting (which became responsible for registration and discipline), and the national Boards for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (which became broadly responsible for the education, training, examination and assessment of student and pupil nurses). At the time of the handover the number of names on the Register and Roll was over 750,000.

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