Student Nurses Prospectus in the 1950s

The booklet illustrated here, was sent out to prospective student nurse applicants wishing to find out about training for their State Registration at the Brighton General. It was issued during the 1950s and shows one Preliminary Training Set (PTS) during there first few weeks in the school of nursing. This of course was at a time when nurses’ spent all three years to registration at one hospital. During that time they spent a total of two and a half years actually treating patients on the wards, in theatre, or in casuality with the remaining six months over the three years on lectures and other forms of study.

Hours of duty and pay
It is worth noting the hours of duty and leisure when all were expected to work a full 96 hour fortnight(exclusive of meal breaks). In 1952 the first year training allowance was £220 (this works out at about £5,500 at todays values) less living in costs, this worked out to provide a  months cheque of around £8, there was no extra for working at weekends or over bank holidays or on night duty, and no time off in lieu.

Night duties
Night duty consisted of a twelve hour shift, 8pm to 8am, with one hour for main meal and half and hour for a tea break, the nurses’ worked the 14 nights as follows; 5 nights on and 2 off, then 4 on and 3 off. Each period of night duty was for 12 weeks, usually on the same ward for that time but occassionaly with a move between ward. If there is any more interest in the BGH there is now a site on the web that can be easily found at:

Comments about this page

  • I had my three children at the Brighton General, 1947,49 and 52 and they looked after me very well. Much better than the hospitals do now.

    By Doreen Newport (03/11/2007)

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