King’s College Hospital Nurse’s League was formed on June 21st, 1924 following a meeting convened by the then Sister Matron, Miss M.A Willcox. A committee was formed and at their first meeting in September 1924, rules and aims were drawn up.
The Viscountess Hambleden and Miss M.E. Ray a former Sister Matron, became the first patrons and Miss Willcox (Sister Tutor) the first president.
The League was open to those who had completed their training – nurses in the last year of training could join but not receive a League badge until their training was completed. Nurses who had given up their training could become associate members but would not receive a badge.
The aims were to
- Enable nurses to keep in touch with their training school and to form a bond between nurses past and present.
- To remember the honour, dignity and sacredness of their profession and to uphold and forward its usefulness and efficiency.
- To publish an Annual Magazine containing the names and addresses of all members and associates of the League and to have an Annual Reunion in the Hospital.
Originally there were 28 founder members and a silver badge in the form of a brooch was designed. By the first Annual General Meeting on the 6th June 1925 there were 181 members in attendance and 40 apologies were sent. In 2021 the membership was 985.
The Benevolent fund was set up in 1926 with a donation of £50. It is now a charity and supports King’s nurses of all ages – members, non-members and carers.
The Education fund was set up in 1929 and now supports nurses with their continuing professional development. It too is now a charity.
Fundraising for specific causes are regularly supported by the League’s General Fund for example the helicopter pad at KCH.
The League has developed and changed over the years as Nursing and training has changed and modernised. The League is open to those who not only trained at King’s but those who work there, and those who work in hospitals that are partners with King’s. It is also open to Midwives. A Journal is produced annually but no longer contains membership details due to General Data Protection Regulations. There is still an annual reunion held at King’s, alongside the Annual General Meeting. A badge is now not provided to nurses on completion of their education.
The League continues to develop and modernise, such as by using social media (Facebook and Twitter) however its core values remain.