The making of the Danish Museum of nursing History

The museum was inaugurated in 1999 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Danish Nurses' Organization.

When nursing became a proper profession and a discipline to be taught and trained, nursing history became part of the regular curriculum. For a period of more than one hundred years, generation after generation of nurses have gained an insight into the development of the discipline, and they have brought this knowledge into their nursing practice.

This collective awareness of “who we are, and where we come from" has been a major reason behind the conscious efforts of the last decades to collect effects, to carry out research into nursing history and to plan setting up the Danish Museum of Nursing History.

President of the Danish Nursing Organization (DNO) at the time, Kirsten Stallknecht, saw to it that the work on nursing history was taken up and continued. The historian, Esther Petersen, was hired by the DNO to research Danish nursing history and in the late 1980s a number of books on Danish nursing history was published.

With the very little documentary material relating to nursing and nursing history in existing museums, the idea of a separate museum for nursing history began to form.

The first collection campaign was started through a notice to the members of the Danish Nurses Organisation in the journal Tidsskrift for Sygeplejersker (The Danish Journal of Nursing). There was a great response, and many nurses sent pictures, documents and information about objects that could be made available for research purposes and a future museum. 

The idea further developed into a concrete project when the property Koldingfjord was bought in 1989.

 The Christmas Seal Sanatorium in ”Illustreret Tidende” with the byline “The newly completed Christmas Seal Sanatoriumat Kolding Fjord, the cost of which has caused so much attention that the opportuneness now will be investigated by a commission”
Caption 
The Christmas Seal Sanatorium in ”Illustreret Tidende” with the byline “The newly completed Christmas Seal Sanatoriumat Kolding Fjord, the cost of which has caused so much attention that the opportuneness now will be investigated by a commission”
Attribution 
The Danish Museum of Nursing History reg.nr. 990122f057

This property included two minor buildings, the pavilions Fjordglimt and Granly, which seemed well suited for the purpose.

The museum buildings 1945
Caption 
The museum buildings 1945
Attribution 
The Danish Museum of Nursing History reg.nr. 000252f070

In 1990 the executive committee of the Danish Nurses' Organization decided to start planning for a museum and in 1999 on the occasion of the 100 anniversary of the DNO the museum opened its doors to the public.