Expanding the Nursing Corps

The group of nurses gradually grew from the “sacred 20,” the first group making up the Navy Nurse Corps. By the end of 1909, 37 nurses where in the Navy, scattered at stations across the continental United States.

Demand increased, and the Corps grew. By 1913, there were approximately 160 Navy Nurse Corp members. They were assigned to U.S. hospitals, but also to locations in Pearl Harbor (then a U.S. territory), the Philippine Islands, Guam, Samoa, Japan, Cuba and the Virgin Islands. For a brief time in 1913, Navy nurses served aboard ships: the USS Mayflower and the USS Dolphin.

This photograph at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Philadelphia, circa 1914, comes from the collection of the Naval History and Heritage Command.

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