A nurse whose name appears on the Nominal Roll was a qualified civilian nurse who had completed her nurse training in a hospital which was approved by ATNA.
The duration of the hospital training course may have varied depending on the bed numbers of the hospital, which was considered an indicator of the range of health ailments suffered by their patients. The courses ranged from a minimum of three years to a maximum of four years in the time leading up to the commencement of the First World War.
On completion of the three to four years of course work, hospital examinations and ward experience the nurse was required to pass the ATNA examination. Once passed, the nurse was considered to be a civilian qualified nurse who was ATNA registered (presently equivalent to being registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency).
Once qualified the nurse wore a veil and was referred to as ‘Sister’ in most cases (see Veiled Lives for a detailed account of the Nightingale system of nurse training and subsequent customs).
To be ATNA qualified was a prerequisite to entry into the AANS. Once accepted to join the AANS the qualified nurse was referred to as a ‘Staff Nurse’. Usually, but not always, the AANS ‘staff nurse’ was promoted to ‘sister’ after 12 months of war service (see Narromine to the Nile for further details).
In this Nominal Roll, the full name of the nurse has been used as the baseline identification whenever possible. If a nurse is known to commonly use her second name she is identified as: Katherine (Vida) Kirkcaldie. If a nurse uses a name which is a variation on her name it is identified in brackets as: Joan Olive Isabel (Joi) Chapman. The alternative name of a nurse (aka) is included when, usually following marriage, the nurse has more than one official data entry. I have endeavoured to clarify those who have multiple official entries.