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About this work


The opportunities for qualified nurses to return for full- or part-time work, and also for mature women to take up training as State Registered or State Enrolled Nurses. Personal stories of women in these two categories show how they overcome the difficulties of, and get much satisfaction from, combining looking after a family and home with nursing and training: in a Baby Care Unit, a psychiatric hospital, a day-stay ward in a modern hospital, and in health visiting. Senior Administrative Nurses give relevant information and advice on training etc. Intended for showing to women's organisations; eg. Women's Institutes and Townswomen's Guilds.


UK : Department of Health, 1974.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (20.49 min.) : sound, color



Copyright note

Crown copyright, managed by BFI.

Terms of use

Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales

Language note

In English

Creator/production credits

Produced by Department of Health. Photography by Douglas Ransom, unit manager Paul des Salles, sound Peter Woods, editor Roy Ayton, narrator Vincent Kane, produced by John Durst and written and directed by David Williams. A Rayant Picture.


This video was made from material preserved by the BFI National Archive


Segment 1 State Enrolled Nurse Rosemary Locke is seen tending to a baby in a special babycare unit. The narrator introduces her and says that she is also a housewife and mother of three, having only recently returned to nursing after having her family. Nurse recruitment posters and leaflets are seen. Helen Lockwood is seen cooking breakfast for her family. She is also a part-time nurse, having trained as a nurse before her marriage. She is returning after a 7 year break. Helen and her husband discuss how at first they were worried about her returning to work but soon realised that all was fine. Another mother and nurse, Eileen Mellor, discusses her work as a registered mental nurse who returned to work at the psychiatric hospital where she trained. A male hospital manager talks about the kind of people they want as nurses and how they encourage mothers to come back to nursing after having children, if only as part-time nurses. Maureen Harvey talks about returning to being a staff nurse. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:05:20:05 Length: 00:05:20:05
Segment 2 A senior nurse explains that some women miss nursing and want to return to work. Changes to nursing are discussed, such as the development of new drugs and changes to routine. Nurses wheel around a pharmaceutical cart, visiting patients in their beds. A recruitment evening is seen, with nurses answering interested women's questions. Re-training classes are also seen. Time start: 00:05:20:05 Time end: 00:10:04:07 Length: 00:04:44:02
Segment 3 The senior nurse talks about the attractions of nursing and about how being part of a team is exciting. Other work is discussed; June works in the community organising home help and meals on wheels. She is seen visiting a new mother who has twins. The narrator says that older women who never trained are welcome to begin training later in life. A nurse says that at first she was terrified but soon it got easier. The training classes are seen. A newly qualified older psychiatric nurse talks about why she decided to become a nurse and she is seen in a ward talking to elderly patients. Time start: 00:10:04:07 Time end: 00:15:41:00 Length: 00:05:36:18
Segment 4 Another psychiatric ward is seen. The male hospital manager explains the importance of psychiatric nurses. Occupational therapy classes are seen. The senior nurse explains the benefit of having older women on the nursing staff, as they have life experience that younger nurses can learn from. The psychiatric nurse discusses her relationship with the younger nurses she works with. The senior nurse says that part-time staff should definitely be employed as it is a waste to train a young woman as a nurse and then let her go once she marries. Time start: 00:15:41:00 Time end: 00:20:49:16 Length: 00:05:08:16



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