Title page for ETD etd-04152012-152439


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Landry, Meghann Lanae
URN etd-04152012-152439
Title Fashioning the Future: The U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, 1943-1948
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department History
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Culbert, David Committee Chair
Shindo, Charles Committee Member
Lewis, Carolyn Committee Member
Keywords
  • Postwar Society
  • Japanese Americans
  • Nursing
  • Cadet Nurse Corps
  • World War II
  • Frances Payne Bolton
  • Media recruitment campaign
  • African Americans
Date of Defense 2012-04-05
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The United States Cadet Nurse Corps, a student-nurse recruitment program administered by the United States Public Health Service, provided federal funding for nursing education during World War II. The subject of nursing on the American home front has largely been ignored, though nursing scholarship has focused, on occasion, on the more exciting battlefield experiences of the Army Nurse Corps. World War II launched a social revolution and set America on its path to a postwar consensus. Although a few historians have briefly mentioned the Corps’ successful media recruitment campaign, its role in the social revolution remains unacknowledged.

This thesis examines the ways in which the Cadet Nurse Corps actively demonstrated and reinforced the social changes that took place in America during World War II. The Cadet Nurse Corps legislation of 1943 appeared safe and conventional, even offering a no-nonsense title, but proved to be a progressive and visionary student-nurse program. A safe product, the American nurse, was funded by a program with a radical premise. The Corps promoted equal rights for racial minorities, the professionalization of the nursing career, and the opportunity for women to work outside of the home. The Cadet Nurse Corps provided women with greater educational, financial, professional, and social benefits for a lifetime career. The Cadet Nurse Corps promoted social change by using a “traditional” profession to create a vision of what was appropriate for women.

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