First Letters from Red Cross Nurses

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Abstract

Editor's note: From its first issue in 1900 to the present day, AJN has unparalleled archives detailing nurses’ work and lives over more than a century. These articles not only chronicle nursing's growth as a profession within the context of the events of the day, but they also reveal prevailing societal attitudes about women, health care, and human rights. Today's nursing school curricula rarely include nursing's history, but it's a history worth knowing. To this end, From the AJN Archives highlights articles selected to fit today's topics and times.

In this month's excerpt from a November 1914 article, Jane A. Delano, chair of the National Committee on Red Cross Nursing Service, describes the mobilization of 138 American Red Cross nurses for wartime service in England, France, Germany, Austria, and Russia. The nurses sailed together on a Red Cross steamer out of New York Harbor, and posted letters from the ship back to AJN. A nurse from Unit A (made up of Philadelphia nurses and assigned to France) wrote, “The days have been truly busy ones, more like the training school…” Their daily schedule included “lectures by doctors,” quizzes, skills practice, and classes in French or German. To read the full article, go to http://bit.ly/2k7KR1U.

For more than a century, American Red Cross nurses have provided care during wars and disasters and brought health care to underserved parts of the United States. The month of March is considered Red Cross Month, and we salute the staff and volunteers who continue this noble work. For more on the Red Cross in this issue, see On the Cover and Best of the Blog.

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