partners exhibit heading

Women Serving the Military
Women Serving the Military




Health Care:

The nursing shortage became worse as nurses joined the military or took higher paying jobs in government and industry. Nursing students were paid to enter the Cadet Nurse Corps. Married women were encouraged to return to work, and many women volunteered as nursing aides to fill the void. An all out effort was made to encourage trained professionals to return to nursing.

The Cadet Nurse Corps recruited nursing students to work in military and other critical care facilities while they were in school. Cadet Nurses were obligated to join the Army or Navy Nurse Corps or perform other critical nursing services in public hospitals for the duration of the war. Although they wore uniforms, the Cadet Nurses were civilians under the auspices of the Public Health Service.

To the right is a recruitment poster, "Save his life…and find your own. Be a Nurse" from 1943. Click on image for larger view.

Save His Life Poster

Congresswoman Frances Bolton (right) authored legislation creating the Cadet Nurse Corps to train nursing students or retrain those who had left the profession at the government’s expense. The Cadet Nurse Corps was the first federal program to provide money directly to students in addition to grants that were paid to the schools. 

Frances Bolton

Cadet Nurse Corps Nurse Minnie Brown
Cadet Nurse Corps nurse
Minnie Brown, 1944-1947
Cadet Nurse Corps Nurse Mary Tamashiro
Cadet Nurse Corps nurse Mary
Tamashiro, 1944-1945
Cadet Nurse Corps Dolores Schlueter
Cadet Nurse Corps nurse Dolores Schlueter, St. Mary’s School of Nursing,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Kotex Sanitary Napkin Ad
Kotex sanitary napkin advertisement appealing to high school graduates to join the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, circa 1944
Click on image for larger view
U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps Recruiting Pamphlet
U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps recruiting pamphlet
Click on image for larger view


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 Photo Credits (L to R): #1: Library of Congress, #2-4: The Women's Memorial,
#5: Courtesy of Susan Jollie, #6-7: The Women's Memorial

(c) Copyright National Women's History Museum 2007