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U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps: 
Honoring Their Legacy to Nursing

The luncheon was an overwhelming success and fine beginning to something very good.
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Welcome, U.S. Cadet Nurses, families, and friends!

This website is a compilation of information about the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps—the nation's first integrated uniformed U.S. service corps—which fulfilled an urgent need for nurses during World War II. At that time many nurses were called overseas to military service, and others were attracted to the defense industry, while understaffed civilian hospitals in the United States were on the verge of collapse.

By 1945, U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps nurses were providing 80% of the nursing care in U.S. hospitals.

This website is for anyone who wants to learn more about this program and these remarkable women. It is also a reminder that now 72 years later, the legacy of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps continues to be felt. These pioneering nurses were trailblazers during World War II and in the decades that followed. We are honored and humbled by their service to our nation and to the nursing profession. Their stories of commitment and their love of country deserve to be known and publicly recognized. 

 

What U.S. Cadet Nurses promised....

Each U.S. Cadet Nurse swore to the following:

At this moment of my induction into the United States Cadet Nurse Corps of the United States Public Health Service: 

I am solemnly aware of the obligations I assume toward my country and toward my chosen profession;

I will follow faithfully the teachings of my instructors and the guidance of the physicians with whom I work;

I will hold in trust the finest traditions of nursing and the spirit of the Corps;

I will keep my body strong, my mind alert, and my heart steadfast;

I will be kind, tolerant, and understanding;

Above all, I will dedicate myself now and forever to the triumph of life over death.

As a Cadet Nurse, I pledge to my country my service in essential nursing for the duration of the war.

Don't let the Cadet Nurse Corps slip away
from the Patriot Ledger, Quincy, Massachusetts

...We should take time out to pay tribute to the dedicated group of women who promised to stay in nursing in service of their country for as long as it was necessary to win the war that raged when they entered service. Their contribution was critical to the many young men for whom they cared. It was a contribution we should never forget. By stepping into uniform for their country, the {U.S. Cadet} Nurse Corps played an essential role in ending the war. They should be honored for their efforts.
Army Surgeon General Norman T. Kirk in his tribute to the "Corps" on its 50th anniversary