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The Queen’s Jubilee Nursing Institute Editor: To celebrate Queen Victoria’s71 ‘‘golden jubilee,’’ marking her fifty years on the throne, a fund was raised among the public. Florence Lees, the crown princess of Prussia and William Rathbone are credited with convincing the queen to devote a significant portion of this money to district nursing. The creation of the Jubilee Institute of Nursing in 1887, later called the Queen’s Nursing Institute, was one result. Nightingale’s role was to give advice, largely via Rathbone, to ensure that the institute provided trained nursing only, and was well managed. Some of the initial proposals were quite unacceptable to Nightingale, notably the acceptance of voluntary, unpaid nursing and inadequate inspection, both of which had been problems before. She thought that excessive control was given to ‘‘ladies,’’ i.e., non-nurses who gave the nurses tasks unrelated to nursing. Another major defect was that no home was provided, so that the nurses lacked support, companionship , supervision and esprit de corps: all familiar themes. Source: From a letter to Frederick Verney, Add Mss 68885 f24 16 June 1887 I give you joy with all my heart that the Jubilee Fund undertakes you. Now the Jubilee Fund is something worth having. One of the three which it patronizes I could not quite read: there is ‘‘widows’ pensions’’ and ‘‘free’’ (this is the word I could not make out) ‘‘nurses.’’ I do think, with Lady Frederick Cavendish,72 that if this Women’s Provident Union, etc., House of Call, etc., can be carried out, it will make a difference in working women’s existence. They are now slaves to the competition for employment. . . . Do you mean that you have a third of the Jubilee Fund? 71 Queen Victoria (1819-1901) became queen in 1837 at the age of eighteen; correspondence with her is in Society and Politics (5:410-27). 72 Née Lucy Caroline Lyttelton (1841-1925), wife of Lord Frederick Cavendish; an advocate of women’s education, after whom Lucy Cavendish College at Cambridge is named. 784 / Florence Nightingale: Extending Nursing Source: From a letter of William Rathbone to Nightingale with her comments, Liverpool Record Office 610 2/2 26 July 1887 WR: I am very sorry to have missed you, but it is not detailed information that I want, but your judgment and suggestions, on anything I might write either to my friend, to whom I alluded in my letter of Saturday , or to the duke of Westminster, who, I now find, is one of the trustees. . . . I fancy they will want it to be some central institution, probably under charter of incorporation. . . . Now I cannot but think that they could not do better than absorb and carry out the original idea of the Metropolitan and National Nursing Association. The work done by that association is thoroughly good of its kind, and it is spreading steadily and holding its ground wherever it spreads. The cause of that success I believe to be the high ideal of nursing and of the qualifications required by nurses for the poor with which the association set out. FN: Has the success of the M. and Nursing Association been uniform? has it always held its ground? E.g., it failed at Greenwich and Portsmouth (so far). Nevertheless the principles of its action proved to be sound by experience and it would be a great mistake to attempt to establish any new organization for the purpose of promoting nursing among the poor, and not to make use of the association, with such modifications as may be found expedient. The cases where it has not been successful have been, it is believed, owing to the want of efficient nurses to act as pioneers—nurses having some of the qualifications requisite for superintendence, viz., tact and discretion in dealing with the doctors and supporters and the nurses under them, business habits, and of course and essentially, thoroughness in nursing so as to keep up the standard. (These qualifications will not be acquired by being assistant superintendents in a hospital— will they?) Must not a high standard grow up by the influence of individuals whom alas! we scarcely know how to attract? Is a larger house required at present for the M. and N.N. Association ? Was not one mistake to begin with the attempt to do too much at first—to hold out prospects which could not be carried out: (1) for want...


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