Hargreaves, Janet (2010) On Becoming A Nurse. In: Narrative, Memory and Ordinary Lives. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 53-68. ISBN 978-1-86218-090-1

Alice, in her mid 80s, is small and slight. Despite some physical difficulties which make walking slow and painful she gives the impression of still being full of vitality and strength. She has a remarkable memory for people and places. Despite the obvious constraints on her lifestyle and the reality of getting older and frailer, Alice is cheerful, humorous and sharp witted.
My mother has always said she had a cousin who had been ‗something in nursing‘, but evacuation from the Blitz during the Second World War meant they had lost touch so I did not meet her until she was in her 80s, nearly 25 years after my own nurse training. This chance encounter with Alice became the springboard for doctoral research investigating the discourses that shape and control ‗good‘ nursing. Through her life story, further interviews with nine retired nurses from the same generation and documentary analysis of two popular nursing journals I hoped to understand better how nursing had evolved into the often frustrating and ambiguous profession that had shaped my adult life.

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