In the aftermath of the First World War, governments and a range of international voluntary organisations including national Red Cross societies were engaged in the development of a range of public health policies. This article explores the little known yet innovative international public health nursing program developed by the League of Red Cross Societies. Established in London in 1920, the courses attracted hundreds of women from around the world. These nurses later returned to their own countries bringing new knowledge, intent on improving nursing education methods and public health practices and assist the public health work of national Red Cross societies. The article traces the history and legacies of a nursing program within the context of the League’s evolution as an international humanitarian agency. It explores the varied experiences of the students, and the impact of this emerging professional field, and how they managed to create a longstanding global network based around professionalism and friendship.
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