Summarized by Plex Health
Last Updated: 07 May 2022
female ostomy nurse showing a boy how to care for an ostomy. "female ostomy nurse showing a boy how to care for an ostomy.", by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. Drawing of a female ostomy nurse showing a boy how to care for an ostomy....

When the United States got in the war in 1917, the Army Medical Department changed Fort McHenry in a huge basic medical facility for returning wounded soldiers. The first new building to be completed was Nurses Home No. Most registered nurses pertained to Fort McHenry, now recognized as General Hospital No. Nurses had given their solutions to the armed forces ever since the Revolutionary War, it was not until 1901 that Congress formally established the Army Nurse Corps. More than 1,800 African American registered nurses were licensed by the Red Cross as qualified to sign up with the Army Nurse Corps, discrimination and segregation prevented the service of all however a very few, and only after that at the very end of the war. In spite of belonging to the armed forces, the Army Nurse Corps members did not have any official rank, and as a result they had no insignia on their uniform. The nursing associations had some aid in their quest for regulations from suffragists, a few of whom were registered nurses themselves, that composed editorials calling for assistance of an army rank for Army registered nurses. Those that were members of the Maryland Graduate Nurses Association may have even vowed their own support at the Association's annual conference in 1919. A minimum of two women at Fort McHenry had straight links to the suffragist movement and efforts to inform women on ballot civil liberties. While no African American registered nurses were able to offer at Fort McHenry during the battle, there was an active suffrage movement in the Baltimore African American community, and it is feasible that registered nurses that wished to offer their nation found their way to working in the direction of acquiring the vote instead.

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