Author 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.