Welcome to the NDSN Web Page – my name is Di (Diane) Francis and I belong to School 69. My training hospital was the Bendigo & Northern District Base Hospital at which I completed my General Nursing course in 1970 (January). In March 1970 I commenced my Staff Nurse Post Graduate Year of which I completed in 1971, and in 1971 June I began my Midwifery course which was completed in 1972.

The purpose of this page is to inform all Graduates of the NDSN that I am currently researching the Nursing History of the NDSN. Many will recall Frank Cusack has written “Lister House” which gives us an account of the early years of the NDSN, however the focus is mainly on the history of the building and the changes that occurred over the many years. My intent is to incorporate some of this work into the nursing history of the School as both have an integral place in the recording of our history.

The overall aim of this work is to demonstrate the uniqueness of the NDSN – the first Regional Independent School of Nursing established in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also reasonable to assert that it was the longest surviving School of Nursing until the transfer of nurse training/education into the tertiary sector in the mid 1980’s. There is conjecture that the Melbourne School was the last to close – but the NDSN was the last Regional Independent School to survive until its closure in 1988-89. Additionally I intend to demonstrate the uniqueness of the School as a revolutionary approach to nurse training/education and the move from the traditional Nightingale apprenticeship approach that survived until the Post War Years of the 1940’s.

As a result of the war years the approach to health care delivery system changed – new technologies, treatments and a more sophisticated approach to nursing care was required to keep pace with the changes that evolved. The NDSN provided students with the knowledge and skills to meet these standards in a variety of health care settings and it is my aim to place the NDSN in its rightful place in history.

There is much data I have already to substantiate these claims – however a School has students, lecturers and tutors who all contribute to the overall success of the School and its Mission. As a result I need your help to provide me with your experiences as students of this unique School – bricks and mortar make a building, the people within that building are the vital link to maintain its worth and success.

Any stories, experiences and memories you wish to share are gratefully accepted – all of which are necessary to preserve our history and wonderful culture of nursing that emerged from our days at the NDSN. Photo’s are great – photo-copies would be good as I don’t want to misplace them.

Please contact me at: 12 Boronia Cres., Strathdale, Bendigo 3550.
Phone: 03 5443 1659.
E-Mail to be advised.

Di Francis. School 69