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Slide Presentation 6

Army Nurse Corps History Home > Army Nursing History in Pictures > History of the Army Nurse Corps, Slide Presentation with Narration

HISTORY OF THE ARMY NURSE CORPS
(Slide Presentation with Narration)

YEARS BETWEEN WWII AND KOREAN CONFLICT

The Corps military status continued to evolve during post war demobilization. And what a demobilization it was- in one year the ANC went from a strength of 57,000 to 8,5000 nurses on active duty. Our current downsizing pales by comparison.

On 16 April 1947, Public Law established the ANC in the Medical Department of the Regular Army and authorized a strength of not less than 2,558 nurses. It also provided permanent commissioned officer status for members of the Corps in the grades of Second Lieutenant through Lieutenant Colonel.

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COL Florence Blanchfield, Chief of the ANC, was given the U.S. Army serial number N-1 and commissioned in the permanent grade of LTC in the Regular Army. She thus became the first woman to hold a permanent commission in the U.S. Army. As Chief of the ANC, she continued to serve in the temporary grade of Colonel.

COL Blanchfield served as Chief of the Corps from 1943-1947 and was responsible for the largest group of nurses to ever be on active duty. In September of 47, she retired after more than 29 years of active service. She was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in Jun 45 for her leadership of the Corps during WWII. She also received many other awards and honors- The Florence Nightingale Medal was awarded by the International Red Cross in 51, and the Distinguished Service Medal from her native state of West Virginia in 63. And, as you know, in 1982, the new

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hospital at FT Campbell was dedicated and named after COL Florence Blanchfield.

Preparation for specialty practice and the specialized

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requirements of military nursing became the focus of the postwar period. The Corps expanded the Officer Basic Orientation course from two to six weeks and nurses began attending the Officer

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Advanced Course. The designed courses in anesthesia, psychiatric, operating room and community health nursing. Selected Army nurses attended the hospital administration course.


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