U. S. Cadet Nurses

I always knew my mother was a nurse.  I never thought about her going to nursing school and how she paid for tuition.  I found her nursing certificate among her papers after she had passed away.  You can only imagine my surprise when searching for information on Ancestry.com, I discovered she had a military file.

Lengel, Frances - Nursing Diploma.

During World War II, nurses were in extreme demand.  Civilian nurses were being sent overseas and the civilian hospitals were severely understaffed.  A plan was developed to recruit and train individuals to become nurses.  While they were in school, they would be used to support the civilian hospitals.  The plan became action when Representative Frances Bolton of Ohio introduced a bill that would establish a government program to train the nurses.  Applicants to the program would be provided a shorter training period, subsidized nursing school tuition, and help with related expenses.  In return, they agreed to serve in essential civilian or government services.  The bill was introduced to Congress on March 29, 1943, passed Congress unanimously, signed by President Roosevelt on June 15, 1943, and became law on July 1, 1943.

Lengel, Frances - Cadet Corps Card (2) Lengel, Frances - Cadet Corps Card

Source:  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Cadet Nursing Corps Card Files, 1942-1948 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data:  Cadet Nurse Corps Files, compiled 1943–1948, documenting the period 1942–1948. MLR Number UD-WW 10; ARC ID: 5605027. 350 boxes. Records of the Public Health Service, 1794–1990, Record Group 90. National Archives at Washington, D.C.

Fortunately, my mother graduated after the war was over.  However, her commitment and that of the other 120,000 U. S. Cadet Nurses must be admired and respected.  Many of the nurses lost their lives trying to save others.

For more information about the US Cadet Nursing Corp:




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