Nurses Badges

These badges predominantly belonged to nurses at RNNH who either kindly donated them to the home or offered them for us to feature in the MoN project.

The badges are arranged in three groups: qualification badges, hospital badges and membership badges. Following these we have some information about nurses buckles.

If you’re interested in learning more about nurses badges and the engravings on them, then the following website provides detailed information on the subject:


Qualification Badges

These badges were given to nurses on completion of training. They include badges issued for registered nurses in England and Scotland, certified midwives and community nurses.

Click on a photo below to see the full image and a description of the badge.

The English SRN (State Registered Nurse) badge given to qualified nurses.The back of the badge has the date of SRN (State Registered Nurse) engraved as 1947 and the later addition of RMN (Registered Mental Nurse) in 1963.The Scottish RGN (Registered General Nurse) badge. This is the Scottish equivalent of the SRN given to English nurses.The nurses name is engraved on the back of the RGN badge.State Certified Midwife badge. This is the equivalent of the State Registered Nurse badge, but for midwives. Possibly on a cord for a community midwife who would visit patients at home.The nurses name and date of qualification are engraved on the back of the badge.Queens Institute of District Nursing badge. The Queen's Nurse programme was designed for community nurses who want to develop their professional skills and promote the highest standards of patient care. The back of this badge is numbered but does not have the nurses name.

Hospital Badges

Hospital badges were given to students by the hospital where they trained. These badges were unique to the hospital and there are dozens of designs. Nurses would proudly wear their badge throughout their career. Nowadays students don’t receive a hospital badge, though some have continued the tradition by creating their own.

Click on a photo below to see the full image and a description of the badge.

Royal Victoria and West Hants Hospital BournemouthRoyal Victoria and West Hants Hospital BournemouthSalisbury HospitalThe Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh badge, given to nurses who completed 4 years of training. This badge is in its original box.Edinburgh's badge featured a pelican. In desperate times the pelican is said to feed its young by biting on its breast and releasing blood to provide something to eat. This was meant to provide an analogy to caring nature of nurses, just as the pelican gave its own blood.The nurses name is engraved on the back of the badge.West Middlesex County HospitalThe nurses name is engraved on the back of the badge.Shenley HospitalPresumed nurses badge of unknown originA contemporary badge from Tervishoiu School of Nursing in Tallin, Estonia. Similar to our hospital badges. Traditionally many European hospitals issued badges to nurses.

Membership Badges

Professional nursing organisations would issue badges to their members. We have examples from The British Nursing Association (BNA), The Royal College of Nursing (RCN)  and The Catholic Nurses Guild (CNG).

Click on a photo below to see the full image and a description of the badge.

The British Nursing Association (BNA) is a nursing and care agency founded in 1948.The Royal College of Nursing, a professional organisation for nursing set up in 1916. The Catholic Nurses Guild

Nurses Buckle

Nurses often had a heavy belt as part of their uniform and it was usual for nurses to have a buckle once they qualified. Families of newly qualified nurses would often purchase a buckle as congratulatory present. Some hospitals had their own buckle that would be issued as part of a nurses uniform.

The nurses buckle shown below is not specific to a particular hospital.

Visitor Contributions

Edward O’Hara kindly sent in photos of badges from Frimley Park Hospital and Outlon Hall Hospital along with the following story from when he qualified:

“I and my group had just qualified at Oulton Hall as it was being closed down and moved to Fieldhead at Wakefield, we were offered the Wakefield School Of Nursing Badge but were having none of it. So this is one of the last badges given to Oulton Hall Nurses.”

Fimley Park HospitalOulton Hall Hospital

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