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Nurse answered the call to heal during World War II

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40,990 Profile Views; 4,120 Posts

Guilt proved to be an effective recruitment tool.

According to a history of the Army Nurse Corps, the United States entered World War II with fewer than 7,000 nurses on active duty (a little more than twice the number of licensed nurses currently employed by Carilion Clinic throughout its organization).

http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/300912

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graykitty has 2 years experience and specializes in Med surg, Renal, & PACU.

14 Posts; 1,641 Profile Views

God bless her. She seems to have a wonderful attitude about life!

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highlandlass1592 has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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Interesting as I've learned more and more about the time period in nursing, there was a proposal for a nursing draft to be implemented if the government wasn't able to get enough nurses to volunteer to join the services. An amazing example of citizens answering the call. Happy Veteran's day to all those nurses, past and present, who have served our nation's call!

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Jamesdotter has 38 years experience and specializes in Women's health & post-partum.

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While young nurses were answering the call, nurses like my mother (late 30s, 5 children) were working 12-hour shifts with the help of nurse aids whom they trained on the job. Mother worked the night shift part time and my dad worked the swing shift in an "essential" job.

When they couldn't arrange child care, mom took me with her to the hospital while my oldest brother (age 15) was left with the responsibility of looking after the other brothers (13, 11 and 3) until dad got home. After this many years, I have no idea how often that occurred. I can remember only 4 occasions, though, and and can also remember where they put me to sleep on each occasion!

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4,120 Posts; 40,990 Profile Views

Since one wasn't around have had to fill in the blanks about the WWII nursing shortage from research and what not.

Do remember watching the film "Sorry Wrong Number" when Barbara Stanwyck rings up a local NYC hospital's nurse's registry to request a private duty for the night only to be told "I'm sorry but there is a shortage of nurses due to the war...."

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4,120 Posts; 40,990 Profile Views

Interesting as I've learned more and more about the time period in nursing, there was a proposal for a nursing draft to be implemented if the government wasn't able to get enough nurses to volunteer to join the services. An amazing example of citizens answering the call. Happy Veteran's day to all those nurses, past and present, who have served our nation's call!

The vote to draft nurses due to chronic WWII shortages passed in the House and was within one vote of passing in the Senate but then Germany surrendered. With the war over in Europe it took some of the heat off demand.

WWII had a *HUGE* impact on the nursing profession in ways many young nurses today do not fully comprehend.

Making RNs officers in the military greatly raised the profession up in the eyes of both the military and civilan life. After the war many nurses used the educational and other bennies provided by the military to further their education. From schools of nursing, to research, academia and so forth from about the 1950's well through the 1980s and still today you'll find heaps of former military nurses. They became professors, deans, clinical instructors, and helped bring many innovations to the profession.

The use of *scrub techs* and other non licensed nursing personnel was greatly expanded in the military and later civilian facilities in response to the nursing shortage. With so few RNs about everyone had to make do with those they had, so bits of the job were parceled out to those whom would work under the professional nurse's license.

Military nursing also brought home all that nursing *theory and rationale* ! *LOL*

For one thing often one needed to improvise as equipment one normally had at hand in a local hospital couldn't be had. Also one of the duties given to professional nurses was the training of UAPs in tasks ranging from cleaning patient care areas/operating areas, sterilising/cleaning equipment etc.....Many of those recruited to such tasks were enlisted men who could be barely literate to those with some firm ideas about taking orders from a female, even if she was a nurse. Thankfully giving RNs officer rank took care of much of the latter!

My favourite take on this was Major Margaret Houlihan *teaching* (in her own style of course) a soilder how to mop up the OR: "Listen soilder the mop goes *IN* the bucket then *touches* the floor.....

I've said it before, you didn't want to tangle with ex-military nurses.

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/72-14/72-14.HTM

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