Prior to the war, each straits/settlement organized and ran their own nursing services including nursing training of staff nurses conducted by the matron or assistant matron and doctors.
In 1800 a hospital for the sick were established in Penang and Singapore. Nurses were Catholic nuns and later replaced by England nurses. New nurses had on the job training by European sisters, matrons and Doctors at the hospital level.The emphasis then in term of nursing practice was in patient care programme which was mainly curative aspects.
1923 - Introduction of legislation for the control of the Practice of Midwifery and the training of midwifes in the Straits Settlement and subsequently in the other states of the Malay Peninsular.
1950 - Nursing LegislationNurses Act and the establishment of the Nurses Registration Ordinance, to control the practice of nursing which provided for the setting up of the Nursing Board for controlling the training and registration as regards to the practice of nursing.
1956 - The Nurses Registration Regulation.
1959 - Most of the states in Malaya become free from communism and it marks the beginning of the development of health services throughout the country.Two great people responsible for the growth and the development of the health services in this early days were Miss Simmonds and Dr. Cicely Williams.
In 1946, Johor Bahru stated a preliminary training school conducted by Miss Henderson D. N. Leeds.
In 1947, the Penang School of Nursing was started conducted by Miss R. K. Applebee. She was responsible for establishing and advancing the training of nurses throughout the federation of Malaya. The block system was started and the first principal of Malaya was Miss E. Bryant. The ultimate aim of the training was to achieve reciprocity that is to achieve the same standard as that of England and Wales. This enables the student who gain the certificate in Malaya to enter the University in England and take the higher study there. Reciprocity also means the Malayan certificate is accepted by all countries having reciprocity by England and Wales. There were 16 nurses selected for the first Preliminary Training School. Refresher courses were established for the trained nurses. The third school of nursing was started in KL to train all nurses in the federation.
1948 - The School of Nursing in Penang expanded rapidly and move to its present site. The first entrance exams was devised by candidates who did not hold senior Cambridge certificate. UNICEF supplied equipments for the schools and WHO supplied qualified tutors.
In 1949 - the first 2 local nurses entered the Royal College of Nursing, England to be trained as tutors.
In 1950 - The Nurses Board Federation of Malaya came into force.
In 1951, Miss E. Hall was the principal matron. The nursing schools in Penang, KL and Johore expanded rapidly. Miss Ong was the first local midwifery tutor.
In 1952, a federal entrance examination set by the Nursing Board Federation of Malaya was established and made compulsory resulting in the raising the standard of nursing throughout the country.
In 1954 - the first training of health visitors under WHO public health tutor Miss E. Metcalfe.
In 1955, the first book on manual procedure was published. The first nurses magazine for the federation of Malaya was printed. The first series of nurses was sent to Australia under the Colombo Plan to complete their training.
In 1956 - In the National rural health development programme, the maternal child health became very important. 2 more local tutors qualified from Edinburgh University and 1 from London University. An Education committee was formed to formulate and guide the policy of the student training.
In 1956 – 1957, many nurses both male and female return from post graduate studies overseas. This include Psychiatry, Opthamology, Tuberculosis Nursing, Paediatrics, Public Health, Midwifery and General Tutors.
In 1966 - Midwives Act
1966-1969 - The extension of the Nurses Registration Regulation act to Sarawak
1973 - 1974 Integration of Family Planning Service in Rural health service and school health programme.
In 1978 - Relatively well developed public sector health service consisting of rural health network. Primary Health care strategies was enunciated. Extension of the Nurses Registration Act to Sabah.
In 1985 - Implementation of the annual practicing certificate1990 - Midwives act revised