Reeves, Alice (1874–1955), matron of Dr Steevens’ Hospital, Dublin, was born in December 1874, daughter of the Rev. Charles Robert Reeves, clergyman, and Charlotte Reeves (née Haire). She was orphaned at age five or six and was raised by her aunt. When she was nineteen she began to train as a nurse at the Adelaide Hospital, Dublin. After qualifying, she remained at the hospital as a ward sister. In 1908 she was appointed matron of the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital. She remained there until appointed lady superintendent and matron of Dr Steevens’ Hospital on 22 October 1918, a position she held for almost thirty years. In the difficult economic climate after the first world war, it became necessary to change the training requirements for nurses in order to attract suitable candidates. One of Reeves's first suggestions to the hospital's board of governors was the abolition of the entrance fee for probationer nurses. The probationers were to be awarded their certificate of qualification only after completing three years’ training, culminating in sufficient proof of their nursing ability. This practice aided the standardisation and professionalisation of nursing, as it followed previous similar actions by Margaret Huxley (qv) at Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital, Dublin.
Reeves was also an active force in the recognition of the nursing profession beyond her immediate position as matron at Dr Steevens’. She was the first president of the Adelaide Hospital League of Nurses, and a founder member of the Florence Nightingale committee. She was one of the first appointees to the National Council of Nurses, which was established under the Nurses Registration (Ireland) Act, 1919. After the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, she went to Helsinki, Finland, to apply formally for the council's affiliation to the International Council of Nurses. She, along with Huxley, was instrumental in framing the first rules of the general nursing council, which was established in 1925 after the nurses’ registration act was passed. She was also a founder member of the Irish Matrons’ Association, for which she helped draft the constitution, and the Nation's Tribute to Nurses Fund, which provided financial support to old and distressed nurses. She was an energetic and sympathetic leader who worked incessantly to further the profession of nursing in Ireland by her commitment to the standardisation of training and qualification. Her contributions to the profession were formally recognised with various honours: she was awarded the Royal Red Cross for her services in the first world war; she was awarded an honorary MA degree from Dublin University in 1947; and in 1949 she became the first Irishwoman to receive the Florence Nightingale medal, awarded by the International Red Cross. On her retirement from Dr Steevens’, she was presented with her portrait. Reeves died on 21 October 1955 at the Merrion Nursing Home, after a long illness. She was 80 years old. After a funeral service at St Stephen's church, she was buried in Mount Jerome cemetery. Her final request befitted her dedication to the nursing profession: it was requested that subscriptions be sent to the Nation's Tribute to Nurses in lieu of flowers.