Friday Fiction: Probation Nurse

Probation Nurse coverProbation Nurse (Original Title: Into the Wind)
original copyright 1941
paperback 1962

Sabra always wanted to be a nurse. Despite some financial troubles, she is on her way to training. She also is engaged to the ultra cool Dr. Galen Trent. This book drags us through the training regimen of the “probs” (probationary nurses).  They have 3 months to prove themselves or they are out. The rules are quite detailed. Obedience to the rule is everything. The plot centers on the decision to break the rules in order to save a life. Tough stuff. It all works out in the end and she makes it through the training to get her cap.

Not the best of this genre, but not the worst either. I was exhausted just reading about the do’s and don’ts for the probs. It seemed like most of these rules were all about keeping the pecking order in place. Patient care didn’t seem to be as important as being sure that people went into the room in the correct order. (Doctors first, nurses with caps next, etc.) The strict rules had me thinking more about prison camp than nurse training.


Probation Nurse back cover

Probation Nurse rule 11

Probation Nurse chapter 3 excerpt

Probation Nurse excerpt



  1. The title “Probation Nurse” makes me think of probation volunteer firefighters. Lots of do’s and don’ts and pecking order there too. I showed this post to one of the guys in my company who is a nurse and it gave him a real chuckle 🙂

    1. I thought the same thing! I’m a volunteer firefighter just a few months off probation. I vividly remember being sooo anxious about disrupting the pecking order that I kept to myself for the first couple of months.

  2. OK my first thought about “Probation Nurse” was that she was a nurse for criminals on probation. . .

  3. Gah, you don’t flaunt rules (normally), you flout them! This writer needed a more literate editor.

  4. She flouted (or flaunted/) all the rules, quit nursing and went on to establish a hummus empire the likes of which the world has never seen.

  5. I should ask my mother (former nurse, now a clinical research VP) whether this stuff was for real. I bet I’d get an earful about it 😀

  6. I guess hospitals have changed a lot – although a nursing degree is still a lot of hard study and hard labour. On the other hand, it’s now a degree. So this book would be misleading about your career prospects.

    There’s a longstanding science fiction hospital called “Sector General” – published from 1957 to 1999, but set in a galactic future – which suffers from paradoxes such as no female doctors, strictly enforced chastity (in any case the author was a gentleman, but his viewpoint human male doctor may not have been), no keyhole surgery, no little robots to buzz around inside you fixing you up (mostly), no forenames – because these things hadn’t been invented at the time. Later there are workarounds such as aliens that are female only temporarily. It’s still a lot of fun… which undermines my criticism of this book.

    But, goodness me, it’s from before penicillin – as a practical treatment, anyway.

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