US Cadet Nurse Corp

Cadet Nurse Corp uniform: gift from Evelyn Benson

Cadet Nurse Corp uniform: gift from Evelyn Benson. In 1942, after Pearl Harbor, there were 42,000 nurses in the United States, and the US government requested an additional 125,000 nurses within the next two years. Frances Payne Bolton, an Ohio Congresswoman, philanthropist and nursing supporter, introduced the Bolton Act, which created the CADET NURSE CORPS.  The women who volunteered spent the first nine months in a college or university learning basic sciences and fundamentals of nursing.  The next 15 to 21 months were spent in a nursing school. Since Boards of Nursing required 36 months of training, Nurse Cadets worked in civilian or military hospitals to qualify for licensure exams.  All of their expenses were paid, including a living stipend.

The Museum of Nursing History has in its collection the Cadet Nurse uniform worn by Evelyn Benson, MPH, RN, a graduate of Jewish Hospital in Philadelphia, and is on display at the Museum periodically.

The Museum of Nursing History archives (2006-2-29-a-b-c-d)