This article is based upon a qualitative survey of the three-year nurse training which was introduced and developed by inspector and principal Cornelia Petersen (1879-1955) from 1919-1947 at Aarhus Kommunehospital. The thesis is limited to an investigation of how Cornelia Petersen worked on improving the contents and conditions of the nurses’ education locally during the period 1919-1947 at Aarhus Kommunehospital. The empirical investigation material constitutes partly of concrete sources and partly normative sources, including interviews with pervious students, textbooks, notes from the teaching sessions and rather comprehensive archive material.

The thesis concludes that during the 28 years which have been examined, the profession underwent many alterations: To start with characterized by contingencies with only little theoretical education and ending with monthly courses and the first steps towards establishing a proper nursing school. The practical part of the education did not develop quite as distinctly. In the field, the number of students admitted were defined by the need of their manpower.

In the long-term planning it is recommended that the present practitioners of the profession relate to history and take a position on what should characterize the qualifications and roles of nurses in the future where centres of knowledge might be one of several possibilities.