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New exhibition to open this week on history of children’s nursing

The Royal College of Nursing is to launch a new exhibition dedicated to the history of children and young people’s nursing.

The new exhibition, Once Upon a Time, celebrates the historic contributions of children and young people’s nursing staff as well as championing their importance to the future of the profession.

“This event is an important celebration of their incredible work”

Nicola Ranger

The exhibition explores the history of children and young people’s nursing – from the first children’s hospitals in the 1800s to the development of family-centred care.

It includes exhibits from the Foundling Hospital, artwork from Bethlem Museum of the Mind, and objects from the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret, and Southwark Heritage Centre.

A launch event will take place at the RCN Library and Heritage Centre in London on Wednesday 8 November with doors opening at 5:30pm and talks running between 6-7.15pm.

The exhibition was co-created with a volunteer team of RCN members, many of whom work in children and young people’s nursing or have experience in the profession.

The team was involved in every stage of the exhibition from research, to writing exhibition panels and exhibition design, said the college.

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RCN chief nurse Professor Nicola Ranger said: “The NHS was set up to provide care from the cradle to the grave, and children and young people’s nursing staff are vital to ensuring the health service is always there when we need it throughout our entire lives.

“This event is an important celebration of their incredible work,” she said.

“We hope our exhibition shows that by recognising the contribution of children and young people’s nursing staff and by listening to and valuing young people’s voices, we can deliver better care for young people in the future,” she added.

The exhibition will run from tomorrow until 27 April 2024.

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