Trained to Care: The Institutionalization of Nursing in Hong Kong (1887–1900)

In: The Church as Safe Haven

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



This chapter scrutinizes the first nursing program in Hong Kong’s Nethersole Hospital, founded in 1887 by the London Missionary Society. Beginning with an account of the development of Christian mission hospitals in British Hong Kong, this study examines the institutionalization of the nursing profession by Protestant missionaries, and the diverse profiles and experiences of Chinese nurses. It argues that the professionally trained nurses served as cultural mediators between foreign medical missionaries and local patients, and that it contributed to the development of women’s healthcare in modern China. These nurses also carved out a separate female space to exercise their professional and moral leadership within the gender-segregated hospital institutions, and challenged the subordinate role imposed on women by traditional patriarchy.

The Church as Safe Haven

Christian Governance in China