This article featured in September 6, 1917 Bridgeton Pioneer, discusses the Red Cross’s enrollment of 12,000 nurses abroad during wartime. The committee on nursing of the general medical board of the Council of National Defense was responsible for this overwhelming task. This nurses on this committee included Adelaide M. Nutting, director of nursing and health at Teachers’ College, Jane A. Delano, chair of the national committee of Red Cross nursing service, and Julia C. Lathrop (featured in the image below), director of the federal children’s bureau.
The committee undertook a national census of nurses to determine the number of trained and untrained nurses. It is thought that there were 200,000 trained nurses in the country. Because of the increase demands for nurses, schools were being urged to adapt specialized nursing courses to their curriculum. The committee also worked to assist women in getting a nursing education through generous contributions and donations.
The image below features Jane Delano. An article, featured in April 15, 1918 Perth Amboy Evening News, mentions her accomplishment in forming the Red Cross Nursing Service, which, with over an enrollment of 18,000 nurses, became the largest nursing service in the world. This organization trained women to serve as nurses for military and public health duty as well as how to respond appropriately to public disasters.
Over the last century, the American Red Cross has continually worked towards improving public health.
(Contributed by Kristi Chanda)