Army Nurse Corps celebrates 116 years Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 February 2017
Story and photo by Debra Thompson
Special to GUIDON
 
 Nurses from General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital came together Feb. 2 to celebrate the 116th anniversary of the Army Nurse Corps.

 The theme for the event was “Leading Readiness and Professional Practice: Getting it done since 1901,” and Capt. Sandra Rodich created an atmosphere reflecting the theme.

Rodich spoke about the history of the Army Nurse Corps, touching on milestones since 1901.
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Maj. Donna McNeil and Pfc. Darryl McMullen, the oldest and youngest nurses, cut a birthday cake Feb. 2 celebrating the 116th anniversary of the Army Nurse Corps.

 Nurses were part of military operations for years before Congress authorized the Army Nurse Corps in 1901. These nurses were not commissioned officers, rather appointed to the regular Army for a period of three years. During this time, the Surgeon General kept a list of qualified nurses willing to serve in an emergency thus creating the first Reserve Corps.

 During World War II, the need for medical care more than doubled from World War I.

 Nurses in World War II were injured, killed and taken as prisoners of war, something that hadn’t happened in wars prior.

 On Feb. 26, 1944, Congress passed a bill giving rank to Army and Navy nurses.

 “Throughout history, nurses have made outstanding contributions during times of war,” Rodich said. “Today, more than ever, military nurses are well equipped and educated to provide assistance and life-saving care to our wounded and sick Soldiers.”

 The guest speaker, Lt. Col. David Boyd, a Family nurse practitioner at GLWACH,  challenged his fellow nurses to continue getting it done.

 Boyd said nurses he worked with in combat didn’t question if something was in their job description when it came to patients, they just got it done. “That’s what nurses do, they get it done,” Boyd said.

 Maj. Donna McNeil and Pfc. Darryl McMullen, the oldest and youngest nurses, cut a birthday cake in honor of the anniversary.

 (Editor’s note: Thompson is the public affairs officer at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital.)