Today, November 11, we mark Veterans Day (which started out earlier in the 20th century as “Armistice Day” to mark the end of World War I).
Wartime and military nurses have served an indispensable role in the history of nursing. In some ways, wartime nursing precipitated the professionalization of nursing, with the founder of professional nursing, Florence Nightingale, in the Crimean War, and Clara Barton during the American Civil War.
Wartime nursing with its emphasis on trauma care and infection control has revolutionized health care for civilians.
Military nurses are sometimes thought of as performing non-combat roles, which is technically correct, but that does not mean that they do so without great risk. One of my ancestors, Pauline McVey McCarthy, served in France during World War I, often at great risk to her safety. Today, nurses also serve in dangerous duty.
This past week we noted that one of those killed in the shootings at the Ft. Hood Army base was a nurse and nurse educator, Russell Seager. You can learn more about him at:
As you conduct your sacred profession, we remember your courage and sacrifice.