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Nurses: On the Job

What do we see when we look closely?

Examine this reproduction of a World War II army recruitment poster. In 1941 only 1,000 registered nurses, all women, were in service, their numbers rising to 57,000 including 217 black nurses in segregated medical units by 1945.
Roll over different areas of the postcard to discover answers to the questions below.

    • Q1Can you spot the insignia of the Army Nurse Corps?
    • A1The Army Nurse Corps, established 1901, has a distinctive badge, a yellow metal caduceus with a black "N" in the middle.
    • Q2Can you identify the nurse's army rank?
    • A2Nurses held no commissioned rank until 1947 when staff corps status was granted. Subsequently, nurses hold lieutenant status and the director of nursing is a colonel.
    • Q3Do you know who was eligible to join the Army Nurse Corps in 1942?
    • A3Single, registered nurses between the ages of 22 and 30 were eligible to join the Army Nurse Corps; if the nurses married or became pregnant, they were dismissed.
White female army nurse in uniform and cap, visible from chest up.
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A reproduction of US Army Nurse Corps World War II recruitment poster, 1990s

    • Q1Can you spot the insignia of the Army Nurse Corps?
    • A1The Army Nurse Corps, established 1901, has a distinctive badge, a yellow metal caduceus with a black "N" in the middle.
    • Q2Can you identify the nurse's army rank?
    • A2Nurses held no commissioned rank until 1947 when staff corps status was granted. Subsequently, nurses hold lieutenant status and the director of nursing is a colonel.
    • Q3Do you know who was eligible to join the Army Nurse Corps in 1942?
    • A3Single, registered nurses between the ages of 22 and 30 were eligible to join the Army Nurse Corps; if the nurses married or became pregnant, they were dismissed.
  • 1Can you spot the insignia of the Army Nurse Corps?
  • 2Can you identify the nurse's army rank?
  • 3Do you know who was eligible to join the Army Nurse Corps in 1942?