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Nursing Civil RightsGender and Race in the Army Nurse Corps$
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Charissa J. Threat

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039201

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039201.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use (for details see www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 14 December 2018

An American Challenge

An American Challenge

Defense, Democracy, and Civil Rights after World War II

(p.79) 4 An American Challenge
Nursing Civil Rights

Charissa J. Threat

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines how concerns about national security shaped the Army Nurse Corps's (ANC) response to male nurses' integration and the push to desegregate the U.S. military. In the decade following World War II, professional nursing viewed its responsibilities to the health and welfare of the nation as being bound to the global defense of democracy. Nursing became part of the “frontline” in maintaining America's strength against the perceived evils of communism. The chapter first considers black activism in early Cold War defense and the anti-discrimination campaign of the American Nurses' Association, along with the pursuit of equal opportunity between male and female nurses. It then explores how the Korean War turned into a battleground for testing race desegregation and debating gender roles within the context of the nursing profession. It also links the male nurses' integration campaign to the civil rights movement and concludes by showing how the ANC reinforced its gendered opinion on nursing within the nurse corps.

Keywords:   national security, Army Nurse Corps, male nurses, nursing, democracy, Cold War, Korean War, desegregation, integration campaign, civil rights movement

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