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New book traces history of nursing education in NT

By Patrick Nelson

The cover of “From hospital to university: a Northern Territory nursing story” The cover of “From hospital to university: a Northern Territory nursing story”

The history of nursing education in the Northern Territory has been recorded by a Charles Darwin University academic in a book to be launched this month on International Nurses’ Day.

CDU nursing lecturer and historian Janie Mason has spent the past 12 months writing and compiling “From hospital to university: a Northern Territory nursing story”, which will be launched at Parliament House on 12 May.

“With 2014 being a significant anniversary year for university education in the NT, it was timely to tell the story of Territory nursing and the journey of change and development,” Ms Mason said.

“This is a unique Territory story about the transition of nursing education from hospital to university.

“It’s a story with roots in the 1870s, when the first nurses arrived in northern Australia, usually alone and without support from their southern peers.”

Ms Mason said the evolution of nursing in the NT didn’t always align with southern patterns or the development of Australia’s health system.

“However, Territory nurses were part of the important national educational and industrial achievements that took place from the 1970s as greater professional standards were introduced.”

A registered nurse and midwife, Ms Mason worked in acute care, and urban and remote communities before entering academe in 1983.

She is a Senior Lecturer of Health and Nursing, and Curator of the Nursing Museum in Darwin.

CDU Chancellor Her Honour, the Honourable Sally Thomas AC will launch “From hospital to university: a Northern Territory nursing story” at Parliament House, Darwin on 12 May.