Nursing in India: Clinging to the Relics of a Bygone Age?

  • Rathish Nair College of Nursing, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, Bihar, India.
  • Jyoti Sarin Maharishi Markandeshwar University, Mullana, Ambala, Haryana, India.
Keywords: Nursing, Gender, Society, India, History


Throughout its history, nursing has been engaged in a constant struggle for status, acceptance and recognition. A shift from apprenticeship to university-level programmes saw nursing’s entry into the professional arena leaving behind the metaphorical gutter and stereotypes. Even in the 21st century, nurses are far behind their medical counterparts in terms of societal status. Unlike the western countries where this disparity is not strikingly evident, it is one of the most glaring realities of India’s healthcare system. While nurses are counted among the five most valued professionals in the United Kingdom, United States of America and Australia, nursing is among the least preferred career choices in India. This article discusses the historical development of nursing in India from a gender and social perspective to understand why nursing is where it is today.

How to cite this article:
Nair R, Sarin J. Nursing in India: Clinging to the Relics of a Bygone Age? Chettinad Health City Med J. 2022;11(4):100-103.



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