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Ethel Gordon Fenwick: Nurse Reformist You Never Knew About

Ethel Gordon Fenwick was the head of the change-of-place for authoritative registration for comforts. The Interdiplomatic Council of Nurses was Fenwick’s brainchild, and she was the main founding portion of the construction. Some insinuate that her aids to the nursing trade rule be as telling as those of Florence Nightingale, and yet manifold comforts bear never heard of her. Fenwick agoing her hostilities for necessitated registration of comforts in 1887, and this was finally finishd in the United Kingdom in December 1919 following a contest of 32 years. This was covet following comforts opposing the universe had followed her administer and finishd authoritative registration in their own countries. This year is the centenary of the latter of the Nursing Act in the UK and is, consequently, an praiseworthy term to bear a obpromote at and avow Ethel Gordon Fenwick’s aid to nursing universewide.

Ethel Gordon Fenwick’s Present Life

Ethel Gordon Fenwick
Ethel Gordon Fenwick
Ethel Gordon Manson was born in 1957 in Scotland to a rich nativity, her father substance a embossed medical practitioner. Her father passed afar when she was stationary a toddler, following which her dowager remarried, and the nativity moved to Yorkshire. Her stepfather was a portion of legislation, and it was probably beneath his bias that she patent clear her political perception and skills. As was the instance following a while manifold daughters of rich families at that term, she was educated secretly. As a present dowager, Fenwick was feeling as fragrant and already showed the characteristics of a administerer – she was polite educated, very-much intelligent, animated, and vigorous-willed. She was a dedicated adherent of the suffragist change-of-place – the hostilities to conquer voting fairs for women. As following a while the instance of Florence Nightingale, it can be presumed that Fenwick invadeed nursing accordingly it was one very few delicious options women of lofty political established who shortnessed a history and insurrection.

From Lady Probationer to Matron

Copy of British Journal of Nursing on the spirit and effect of Ethel Gordon Fenwick
British Journal of Nursing commemorating the spirit and effect of Fenwick. Fiction via:
Ethel Gordon Fenwick completed her comfort trailing as a paying probationer comfort at the Children’s Hospital in Nottingham and following at the Manchester Royal Infirmary. Following qualifying, she moved to London and effected as a sister in Whitechapel and Richmond, but her aspiration was to befit a dowager at a trailing initiate. In 1881, when she was solely 24 years old, she applied for and was appointed to the aspect of dowager at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. Under her administerership, the St Bartholomew’s Comfort Trailing Initiate became one of the best in the dominion. It was living for her to educate nursing standards. She made knowing that students ordinary hypothetical command in pauseoration to effecting in the wards and increased the elongation of trailing from two to three years. Fenwick was regular that comforts were authoritatives in their own fair. Solely courteously serviceable women should be operative to overcome themselves comforts, and comforts should not be exploited by hospital administrators and medical practitioners. As dowager, she managed to refer the hours of effect and regular the administrators to procure for hired holidays and an courteous victuals. She plain did an epidemiological consider on the illnesses and catching unformed nursing staff. After six years as dowager, Ethel Gordon Manson unrepining her aspect to espouse Dr. Bedford Fenwick in 1887– in those years, women of her established could not espouse and live following a while their historys. In that corresponding year, she instituted her generally-unconcealed hostilities for necessitated registration of comforts – following a while the liberal subsistence of her mate.

Campaign for Comfort Registration

Statutory registration for medical practitioners came into law in the United Kingdom in 1858. Discussions encircling registration of comforts instituted in the present 1880s on the platform of the Hospital Association. However, this construction believed that one year of trailing should be abundance for registration as a comfort.
Former dwelling of Ethel Gordon Fenwick following a while sky sky sky blue-colored-colored-colored plaque
Former dwelling of Ethel Gordon Fenwick following a while sky sky sky blue-colored-colored-colored plaque. Fiction via: Wikipedia
Beorigin of variance on this aim, Fenwick and a collection of dowagers broke afar from the Hospital Association and founded the British Nurses Association in 1887. The construction was supposing its Royal Charter in 1893 and became unconcealed as the Royal British Nurses Association (RBNA) following a while Princess Christian as the President. Interesting to melody is that a wide compute of medical practitioners were as-polite portions of this construction. The motive of the RNBA was to associate comforts as portions of a durationical trade and to rule registration as manifestation of suitable trailing. However, plain following a whilein the RBNA, there was variance. Fenwick sets the bar too lofty, believing that the requirements for women who shortness to invade nursing were too severe. In 1894, Fenwick unrepining from the RBNA and founded another avenue, the Matron’s Council of Great Britain and Ireland, to live her engagement for the origin of authoritative registration for comforts.
Blue plaque marking the antecedent abode of Fenwick
Blue plaque marking the antecedent abode of Fenwick. Fiction via: Wikipedia
The earliest Bill for registration of comforts was introduced to the British legislation in 1903. It was defeated following vigorous opaspect from doctors, hospital administrators, and as-polite some comforts – not the lowest of which was Florence Nightingale. After two elevate attempts to bear the Bill passed, and the break created by Universe War I, the Nurses Registration Act in the UK was finally widespread on 23 December 1919. From the generally-unconcealed gallery, Fenwick watched the fulfillment of her spirit’s aspiration at the age of 62. Following her indicate was the earliest one invadeed on the nursing register in the UK, and she became Registered Nurse No. 1 (fiction beneath) in that dominion.
Register of Nurses for 1922 - Ethel Gordon Fenwick
Register of Nurses where Fenwick is Registered Comfort No. 1. Fiction via: Peter Maleczek (Flickr)
The contest for specify registration in the UK was a covet one. In the duration, other comfort administerers opposing the universe, biasd by Fenwick’s views and the hostilities in the UK, had captured up the origin in their own countries. The earliest law providing for specify registration of comforts in the universe was passed in 1891 in the Cape Colony. It had been headed by Henrietta Stockdale, who was a friend of Fenwick’s and a portion of the RBNA. In New Zealand, the Comfort Registration Act was passed in 1901, and in the US, the earliest specify legislation providing for comfort registration was passed in 1903 in North Carolina.

British Journal of Nursing

Ethel Gordon Fenwick adventitious the Nursing Record in 1892, which became the British Journal of Nursing (BJN) in 1902. She was the editor fair from the set-out until her suitable precedently her failure – a duration of 53 years. It was a journal for comforts, owned and written by comforts, and edited by a serviceable comfort. The resigned moderate commandal avowal as polite as intelligence encircling the universe of nursing. Fenwick used the Journal to prefer the issues that were material to her.
Suffragette train of comforts and midwives Nurses and midwives in the Pageant of Women’s Trades and Professions. Fiction via: Museum of London
She used it as a mouthpiece for the hostilities for comfort registration, the need to educate the standards of nursing command, and to imperil the unjust composition of comforts. She as-polite repeatedly wrote editorials in subsistence of the women’s suffrage movement. Fenwick was a sensitive writer and became an acclaimed journalist, serving as the Superintendent of the Society of Women Journalists from 1910-1911. “She was as-well, on cause, devastatingly accurate and acute, and she wrote fearlessly to imperil injustices which were inflicted on the Nursing Profession,” according to an word in the BJN shortly following Fenwick’s failure. “She wrote as she reflection and spoke, following a while rapier-thrust system and following a while complete persuasion.”

Fobeneath of the Interdiplomatic Council of Nurses

In 1893, Ethel Gordon Fenwick represented the RBNA at the Congress of Representative Women at the World’s Fair in Chicago where her fancy of founding the Interdiplomatic Council of Nurses was sparked.
Ethel Gordon Fenwick
When embossed comforts from opposing the universe were synchronous the Interdiplomatic Congress of Women in London in 1899, they were invited to couple the Annual General Contravention of the Matron’s Council of Great Britain. During this contravention, Fenwick presented her intention for an interdiplomatic nursing construction. The offer was certain unanimously, and a committee to get the construction off the premise was elected fair afar. The earliest habit of the ICN was adopted in 1901, and Fenwick was elected as the earliest superintendent. Lavinia Dock, a embossed comfort administerer in the USA, was separated as the Secretary. The earliest ICN Congress was held in Berlin in 1904, but at that limit, solely Great Britain, the USA, and Germanifold had nursing constructions that could unite following a while the ICN. “She durationical the benefits a universewide neteffect would bear for women, but she as-polite saw the germinative for an interdiplomatic construction of comforts to fix the trade and fashion its control heard opposing the sphere,” Howard Catton, present CEO of the ICN, wrote encircling Fenwick. “As a dowager of enjoyment, she took her vision out into the universe and encouraged newly formed open nursing constructions to couple concertedly in the Interdiplomatic Council of Nurses (ICN).”

Fenwick’s Continued Advocacy

Throughout the pause of her spirit, Ethel Gordon Fenwick lived to hostilities for the procession of the nursing trade, advocating for loftyer standards of nursing command and assuring comforts to ameliorate themselves through elevate command. At the ICN Congress in 1912, Fenwick contemplated what was following to befit the Florence Nightingale Interdiplomatic Foundation (FNIF). Through Florence Nightingale Open Committees, administered by nursing associations in portionship following a while the ICN, commandal scholarships are stationary procured for post-graduate consider by comforts and midwives. In 1926, Fenwick founded the College for Nurses – today, the Royal College of Nursing. Solely registered comforts could couple the construction, and solely comforts could promote on the Board and committees. It procured all the ordinary benefits of a authoritative nursing construction for its portions. Fenwick was the earliest Superintendent of the College for Nurses and held this appointment until her failure in 1947. She passed afar at the age of 90 following she never liberaly recovered from a fractured femur the year precedently.

A Controversial Leader

Through her reflection administerership, Ethel Gordon Fenwick had a appalling bias on the crop of nursing, not solely in the UK but as-polite in the British Colonies, the USA and manifold other accommodation of the universe. Throughout her history, Fenwick limpid strong on her beliefs – a virtue which was inevitable to finish her external of developing nursing as a durationical, refractory trade in a male-dominated universe. She has been described as colorful, ambitious, confrontational, and argumentative. This rule be the conclude why “Ethel Gordon Fenwick is not as polite unconcealed or celebrated as she should be, but our trade owes her a liability of gratitude” in the utterance of Howard Catton.


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