For those looking to serve their country in the medical profession, the military nursing programs available offer the opportunity for a career steeped in a proud tradition of compassion, highly refined skills, courage, and service.
History of Nurses in the Military
The history of nurses in the military begins with the birth of the United States when in 1775 General George Washington requested the Second Continental Congress establish a nursing corp. The congress granted the request authorizing one nurse per every ten soldiers supervised by one matron per one hundred soldiers. Prior to this time nurses had somewhat of a poor reputation; however, the service of army nurses during the Revolutionary War brought honor and respect to the nursing profession in both the military as well as the civilian sector.
Part of the proud tradition of the history of nurses in the military is that of being on the cutting edge not only in medicine but also in breaking down cultural and societal barriers in American society. During the Civil War, more than 180 African American women served in the Union Army nurse corps, starting the break down of the cultural and societal walls that existed among the races. The service of women in the military nursing programs available in each of the armed services demonstrated that women could serve along men in the combat theatres of the World Wars, the Korean War, and Vietnam Wars. The military nurses broke through barriers as they took on more responsibility as they took on more supervisory duties and eventually gained the ability to become commissioned officers. Read the rest of this entry »