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The Origins of
The Royal British Nurses' Association
The Association was founded in December 1887 when Dr and Mrs Bedford-Fenwick invited a number of medical men and matrons to meet and discuss the possibility of founding an organisation of nurses, similar to the British Medical Association. H.R.H. Princess Christian was approached and agreed to become its First President.
A Council of Doctors, Matrons and Nurses was formed, and they proceeded to draft a Constitution for the first Association of Nurses in the world. It was pioneer and pioneers always arouse the forces of hindrance if there is likely to be growth and change in the ideas they bring. Many influential people and many of the Leaders of Nursing in those days held that to seek to organise the profession in the way that was being suggested would destroy the Vocational Spirit. On this opposition lay the powerful influence of Miss Florence Nightingale
and many of the large hospitals. Notable exceptions were St. Bartholomew's, the Middlesex and the Royal Infirmary Glasgow. Ultimately the Charter was granted in 1893. Later the Royal Charter was granted.
HRH The Princess Helena
HRH The Princess Helena

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