VCU Libraries Gallery


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Miss Esther Mayer, Instructor at the School of Nursing, 1941-1947.

1941 Virginia Nurses in World War II
Many Virginia nurses who were enrolled as American Red Cross nurses were called to military nursing service as World War II began.

1942 Nancy Vance Pin
Dr. Ennion G. Williams, Virginia's first State Health Commissioner, presented a five star pearl studded pin to Nancy Vance in recognition of her development of the Five Point Health Program for children in Virginia schools. After her death in 1942, Ellen Smith, a close friend of Nancy Vance, presented the pin to Richmond Professional Institute to be awarded annually to an outstanding public health nurse. When the public health course at RPI was discontinued the pin was given to the Graduate Nurses Association of Virginia (GNAV) to present as an award to a nurse who had rendered valuable service to nursing in Virginia.

1942-45 State Activities in Connection with the World War II
National Councils for War Service were organized in all districts. As a result of the large numbers of nurses entering military service, the recruitment of nursing students was intensified and refresher courses for inactive nurses were initiated. Extra State Board examinations were scheduled so that nurses could enter the military service sooner. Courses for lay groups were developed.

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GNAV Convention, 1944.

1943 U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps 
Frances Payne Bolton, congresswoman from Ohio, sponsored a bill creating the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps on July 1, 1943. The U.S. Cadet Corps became the Student War Nursing Reserve and was administered by the Surgeon General with Lucille Petry, RN, as Director. Virginia schools of nursing participated in this program which terminated on October 15, 1945.

1944 Four Year Basic Baccalaureate Nursing Program at Hampton Institute 
The first four year baccalaureate nursing program in Virginia was established at Hampton Institute.

1946 Nurse Practice Act Repealed and Reenacted 
The changes in the nursing law authorized the Board of Nurse Examiners to license practical nurses and to approve the educational programs preparing individuals to become licensed practical nurses. Definitions of nursing appeared in the law for the first time. Other amendments deleted the category of licenses attendant and, for the first time in law, authorized the licensure of certified tuberculosis nurses. The Board of Nurse Examiners had been licensing CTNs since 1926 by regulation. Membership in the Board was expanded to six with the addition of a licensed practical nurse, Alice Nelson.

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St. Philips Graduating Class, Fall 1945-1946.

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MCV School of Nursing, Class of 1947.

1946 First Practical Nursing Schools Open 
The Norfolk City Schools and Leigh Memorial Hospital School of practical nursing, cosponsored by a community hospital and a local school division, admitted students in 1946. There were students studying practical nursing at Manassas High School, but those students transferred to the program in Norfolk to complete their education.  Later in the year, a school of practical nursing was established in Richmond cosponsored by the public schools and the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals.

1947 Licensed Practical Nurses Organize 
Licensed practical nurses from Virginia met at the Hotel John Marshall in Richmond on April 19, 1947 to establish the Licensed Practical Nurses Association of Virginia (LPNAV).  Two days later, African-American licensed practical nurses met at Hood Temple Methodist Church in Richmond to organize the Virginia Colored Practical Nurses Association (VCPNA).

1947 Southern Division of ANA Holds Convention in Richmond 
The Southern Division of the ANA met in Richmond at the John Marshall Hotel May 6-8, 1947.

1948 Standardized Licensing Examination 
The Board of Examiners of Nurses first used the national standardized State Board Test Pool Examination for all candidates for licensure as registered nurses in October 1948.

1948 Scholarships for Nursing Education 
At the request of the Legislative Committee of the Graduate Nurses Association of Virginia (GNAV) a bill to provide scholarship funds for nursing was passed by the General Assembly in 1948. Legislation passed in 1950 authorized funds for nursing students in schools of nursing connected with non-profit hospitals in Virginia.