St John Ambulance: Saving lives for 150 years

Museum of the Order of St John

1st July 2021 | 11:15AM

Various dates from 1st July.

Discover the heroes and innovators who brought first aid to the public and changed the way we think about first response medical care. From world wars to royal jubilees, find out how St John Ambulance became an international movement through the personal stories of its dedicated women and men. The tour will lead you through the galleries and historic rooms of St John’s Gate, the unique setting for the administrative heart of St John Ambulance and the place where this fascinating story began.

Tours will last 45 minutes and you will be able to visit the Museum galleries at St John’s Gate following your tour.

Tickets must be pre-booked via the Museum’s Eventbrite page. £12pp and £9 for Art Fund members.

The Future of Nursing History: Race, Gender and Internationalism

Royal College of Nursing Library & Heritage Centre

14th July 2021 | 5:30PM

A Joint Event Organised by the RCN History of Nursing Forum and the UK Association for the History of Nursing (UKAHN)

Following our panel on classic texts in nursing history, we move on to look at new research in the field. Find out about new projects in progress, and hear what these scholars have learnt from their research so far.

We will hear from four historians about new and exciting research. Rebekah SloaneMather is investigating a set of First World War nurses’ autograph books from the Museum of Military Medicine in the UK. Charissa Threat’s first book, Nursing Civil Rights, explored gender and race in American army nursing. Sheri Tesseyman is studying the effect of staffing changes in American hospitals in the mid-twentieth century and Sonya Grypma looks at transnational nursing history, especially Canadian, American and Chinese nursing networks.

This event is free and open to all. Please register to attend and a link will be circulated in advance with instructions on how to join the event. All tickets must be booked individually.

See our full terms and conditions for events here.

Book your ticket here

Join the RCN’s UK-wide Fair Pay For Nursing campaign


Rebekah SloaneMather is a retired QARANC officer. Currently in her 2nd year of a PhD in English Literature at Cardiff University, her research focuses on the autograph albums of military nurses from The Great War. Gaining her RGN at Guys and Lewisham Hospitals in London, Rebekah then specialized in perioperative practice nursing at St Thomas’ Hospital London. After joining the QARANC she was later posted to Birmingham City University as part of the then DSHCS where she lectured in Evidence Based Practice.

Charissa Threat is an Associate Professor of History at Chapman University where she teaches courses in U.S. and African American history. Her research interests are in race and gender in twentieth century U.S. history, civil rights, community activism, and civil-military relations. Her first book, Nursing Civil Rights: Gender and Race in the Army Nurse Corps (University of Illinois Press, 2015), won the 2017 Lavinia L. Dock Book Award from the American Association for the History of Nursing. She is currently at work on her second book, Sweethearts and Pin-Ups.

Sheri Tesseyman is an assistant professor of nursing at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, USA. She received a Ph.D. in nursing history from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom and focuses her research on division of labour in hospital bedside nursing. Tesseyman practiced bedside nursing in a general intensive care unit in Salt Lake City, Utah, and at Leeds General Infirmary thoracic surgery ICU in Yorkshire, England.

Sonya Grypma, PhD, RN, is Vice Provost of Leadership and Graduate Studies at Trinity Western University in British Columbia, Canada. Both a nurse and a historian, Sonya’s program of research focuses on transnational nursing history, particularly the intersection of Canadian, American, and Chinese nursing networks developed through philanthropic, missionary, and nursing organizations during wartime. She has authored three books on missions and nursing in China, the third of which (Nursing Shifts in Sichuan) will be released by UBC Press in October 2021.

Smallpox to COVID: a comparison of vaccine development

Royal College of Physicians Museum

15th July 2021 | 6:00PM

Join us to explore the historical and modern-day development of vaccination comparing the first and only human disease eradicated by vaccination, smallpox, and today’s global challenge, COVID-19.

Learn about ‘A Pox In All Our Houses: Discovering the origin and evolution of smallpox vaccine’ the fascinating ongoing research project with Dr Ana Duggan, adjunct assistant professor at McMaster University, and Anna Dhody, curator of the Mütter Museum. Using the latest scientific techniques, this project is sampling historic items associated with smallpox vaccination to answer questions about the variety of viruses used for vaccination purposes across the globe during the 18th and 19th centuries. One of the items sampled is a set of blades from the RCP collection that is likely to have belonged to Edward Jenner (1749–1823), the doctor who greatly advanced the development of smallpox inoculation.

In comparison we will also hear from Dr Gregory Poland director of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic, about how todays COVID vaccines are being developed to tackle a modern, pandemic disease.

The event will include an introduction to the RCP Museum’s current exhibition ‘RCP Unseen’ and after the talks there will be a discussion panel where you can ask the knowledgeable speakers your questions

As the speakers are joining us from the USA and Canada this event will be held online only.


Lowri Jones, senior curator of the Royal College of Physicians Museum.

Anna Dhody, curator of the Mütter Museum and director of the Mütter Research Institute.

Dr Ana Duggan, adjunct assistant professor at McMaster University.

Dr Gregory Poland, director of the Vaccine Research Group Mayo Clinic.

Professor Hendrik Poinar from McMaster University.


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Nursing a Pandemic: The Future of Nursing

Royal College of Nursing Library & Heritage Centre

29th July 2021 | 5:30PM

Join us for the 7th event in our series recording the nursing experience of the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Future of Nursing

In the 7th event in this series, we will look at the student experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many nursing students stepped up to complete their degrees on paid placements, providing essential support during the public health emergency. Others had to adapt to the challenges of remote learning, and an abrupt end to practical experience; some were forced to isolate due to their own health conditions. All of these students faced a unique set of challenges.

The interviewer is Cyzel Gomes, a second year student nurse in adult nursing and RCN Student Committee member for the South East.


  • James Savage. James is a student mental health nurse. In 2020, he helped to lead a care team during a major outbreak in a nursing home and was subsequently redeployed to an acute mental health ward within the NHS. He is the RCN Student Committee member for North West England.
  • Brian Webster-Henderson. Brian is a Professor of Nursing and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Health, Environment & Innovation). He is Chair of the Council of Deans of Health UK, which represents the university sector across the whole of the UK. He works at the highest level of strategic discussions on issues such as workforce, curriculum design, research and policy.

We are living in historic times. Since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in 11 March 2020, nursing staff have performed a huge range of vital roles in the COVID-19 response in the UK and beyond. Now is the time to go beyond the “clap for carers” and better understand what life during the pandemic has been like for nursing staff in different situations and contexts. From first responders and nursing leaders to staff working in care homes and the nursing students who stepped up from their degrees to support the NHS, this series marks the ongoing impact of the pandemic on nursing and nurses.

Each virtual event takes the form of live interviews with nursing and healthcare staff and students, followed by a Q&A. The interviews will be recorded and added to the RCN archive, making sure these experiences are recorded for posterity.

This event is open to all, and will take place online. Please sign up to attend and the link to join will be circulated in advance.

Read the full terms and conditions for our events here.