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Poor law nurses

Some poor law hospitals employed untrained women as nurses. Stobhill had qualified nurses from the beginning. There were rules about the nurses’ duties, behaviour and even the food they ate! They worked long hours, and got one day off a month.

The hospital trained student nurses. They bought their own uniforms, and were not paid for the first three months. After that they earned £10 in their first year, £15 in their second year and £20 in the final year.

In 1920 a new Training School for Nurses was set up at Stobhill. In 1927 a Preliminary Training School began, to give students one month’s initial training before the certificate course. PTS students got up at 5.30 a.m. to study before a day’s work on the wards.

NHS nurses

The number of nurses grew after the introduction of the NHS in 1948 and working hours fell. Nurse training continued and in 1967 a new Group Training School opened.

Nursing staff at Stobhill, 1944 to 2004


Number of Nurses







Nursing today

The role of nurses has evolved. Nurses take more responsibility for the diagnosis and treatment of patients, including some tasks previously done by doctors. Ward managers have replaced ward sisters, and new clinical nursing grades have been introduced. While working hours are shorter, nurses now work 12 hour shifts. Even the uniform has altered; trousers replaced skirts in 1994.

In 1989 Stobhill’s nursing school closed. Nurses train at Glasgow Caledonian University, with work placements at Stobhill and other hospitals.

Last Updated: 01 March 2019