Date: Wed, 21 Jun 1995 07:35:32 -0400 From: "M. Lynne Murphy" <104LYN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MUSE.ARTS.WITS.AC.ZA> Subject: Re: nurse / "sister" > In German, the word for nurse is also sister - Schwester or > Krankenschwester (which is interesting, as krank means sick, while the > Czechs place the emphasis on health). I don't know about the origin of the > use of sister, but I would guess that the nun connection is correct. In the > middle ages, the vast majority of hospitals in Europe were run by religious > orders. in south africa, there are 3 levels of nurse: nurse (lowest), staff nurse, and (nursing) sister (highest level). i asked my colleague if he thinks this came from afrikaans, and he says he believes no--that it's the same in brit english lynne murphy