We hold records about the employment of nurses, doctors and other staff working in public hospitals in South Australia.

Employee records were usually created by the public hospital that someone worked for. Hospitals Department correspondence also includes details of staff applying for positions or taking leave. Nurses’ registrations began in 1922.

For other government employee records, see teachers, police, mariners and sailors and railway employees.

For records created by public hospitals, see hospitals.

Access Conditions

Records containing personal or disciplinary information are typically available for general public access after 60 to 100 years to 31 December from the last year noted in the record.

Less detailed records about employees may be open sooner.

Hospital records containing information about patients as well as employees may have a longer access restriction.

You may have a right to apply for acess to restricted records

Registers of Nurses and Midwives

Registers from 1922 to the 1950s can be viewed in the South Australian Government Gazettes.

We hold registers from 1922 onwards. To identify a register with the right date range for your research search our catalogue ArchivesSearch.

Hospital employment records

Records of employees at different public hospitals were maintained by the Hospital. To identify hospital employee records in the archive search our catalogue ArchivesSearch

Correspondence files

Correspondence files for the Colonial Surgeon's Office and Hospitals Department (series reference: GRG78/1) are held from 1850 to 1979. These records contain information about employee's appointments, leave requests and resignations.

World War One nurses

Photographs of eleven nurses who served during the First World War are held by State Records (series reference: GRG26/5/4). Digitised copies of photographs can be found on Flickr.

Key facts

The South Australian Colonisation Commissioners appointed a Colonial Surgeon in 1836. A Colonial Infirmary was also established and was replaced by the Adelaide Hospital in 1841. 

South Australia was the first state to introduce a Nurses' Registration Board in the early 1920s. This Board was responsible for the training and examination of nurses who were to be registered in South Australia. Prior to this nurses were trained and given qualifications by the hospitals where they worked.