Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) nurses have worked at the sharp end of military life throughout the last century. Nursing Officers, Nursing Soldiers, Healthcare Assistants and Student Nurses of the QARANC deliver a high quality, adaptable and dedicated nursing care wherever the Army needs it.


Army nurses and healthcare assistants can find themselves working in a variety of settings. These can vary from NHS hospitals with military units, to ground based environments such as medical regiments and field hospitals.

QA personnel deal with a wide range of medical situations, with civilian and military patients in the UK, to military casualties of war and conflict. Work locations vary between clinical roles, instructional positions at training bases and other interesting jobs such as recruiting.

Currently Army nurses are based and deployed in the UK, Germany, Cyprus, Canada, Poland, Brunei, Nepal, Kenya and Sierra Leone.


Florence Nightingale formed the first nucleus of a recognised Nursing Service for the Army in the Crimean War, 1854. Following the war she fought to institute the employment of women nurses in military hospitals and by 1860 she had succeeded in establishing an Army Training School for military nurses at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley.

  1. 1881

    In 1866 provision was made for the appointment of nurses to all Military General Hospitals, but it was not until 1881 that an Army Nursing service was formed. 

  2. 1902

    In 1902 Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS) was established by Royal Warrant under the immediate control of Her Majesty, who had given the Service her name and was President until her death.

  3. 1914

    Formation of the QAIMNS Reserve and the Territorial Force Nursing Service quickly followed and in the first week of World War I, 1914-18, these nursing services mobilised for duty with the Expeditionary Force, serving through the war years on every front, in every campaign.

  4. 1939

    In World War II 1939-45, the Army Nursing Service served in every campaign from Iceland to the Pacific, nursing the sick and wounded and sharing the hazards of warfare. Testimony to their work and courage abounds. 

  5. 1949

    In 1949 the QAIMNS became a Corps of the Army and was renamed Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps. At that time the Corps recruited Officers only and was supplemented by members of the Territorial Army and Reserves.

  6. 2003

    In July 2003 Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex was appointed as our third Colonel in Chief and graciously agreed to become Patron of the Association.