With all the recent press concerning the upcoming nursing shortage, it can be easy to forget that this isn’t the first time the U.S. has faced a similar problem.
One of the worst nursing shortages in history came during World War II. Fortunately, the country recruited the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps to staff hospitals on the homefront. Those who served were not only the largest group of uniformed women to serve during the war, but are also credited by some as saving the American health care system at the time.
Last week, 22 women who served in the Nurse Corps met for a reunion in Quincy, Mass. The group came from all over New England for a reunion luncheon, and spent time looking over old photographs from the 1940s and reminiscing about their time in the Nurse Corps.
“They are remarkable women…and nobody’s heard about them,” luncheon organizer Shirley A. Harrow told Boston.com, adding that many of their contributions to the war were forgotten because, after the fighting stopped, they were essentially told, “Thanks, girls, go home, and make babies.”
Do you know anyone who served in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps? Share their stories in the comments section below.