Sunday, July 12, 2015

Famous nurses (2): Mary Seacole

Mary Seacole was born in Jamaica, had lived in London, and went also to the Crimea, where she ran a hospital or hostel for soldiers.  She had prior experience in nursing and herbal medicine.  History seems to have forgotten her for some time, but more recently there have been efforts to remember her again.  There seems some controversy over what she did, and a perception in some places that if she is made more important, it has to be at the expense of Nightingale.  These issues are explored here (I can't see who makes this site, but it looks to be worth mentioning).  Alongside this, seek out "A short history of Mary Seacole: a resource for nurses and students", by Elizabeth Anionwu, published by the Royal College of Nursing in 2005, to celebrate the bicentenary of her birth and bring her back into the limelight. 

The Royal College of Nursing and the NHS both have awards named after Seacole, and De Montfort University (Leicester) has a research centre for equality and diversity in health, social care and educational research named after her.

Here are some sites about Mary Seacole:

British Library, which has some extracts from her autobiography, The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands.  There are some other items relating to her, or to Nightingale, nearby on this timeline.

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