Ancestry.com, the world's largest online family history resource, announced May 7 a collection of more than 300,000 WWII Cadet Nursing Corps Card Files is now available at www.ancestry.com/nursing.
The records date between 1942 and 1948, and detail the history of the Corps, providing detailed information about Cadet Nursing Corps members while offering a glimpse into what life was like for these young women.
Ancestry.com is the exclusive location to search the entire Cadet Nursing Corps collection online, making it easy to review this piece of American history and discover personal connections to former Cadet Nurses.
Upon America's entry into World War II the Cadet Nursing Corps was established to increase the number of nurses available for war efforts.
This collection tells the story of more than 124,000 young women between the ages of 17 and 35 who committed to serve in the nursing profession during this time.
As a part of the program, cadets went through an accelerated training that fit a 36-month course into a 30-month period and included "on the job" service at hospitals, which freed up experienced nurses to help with the war effort.
All cadets received a scholarship and a monthly stipend, effectively giving these young women an education they otherwise may not have been able to afford.
"As a former member of the Corps, I am excited to have this important part of history not only acknowledged, but made available for more people to learn about this unique wartime effort," said Thelma Robinson, MSN, RN, PNP (ret). "I consistently speak with fellow corps members who are trying to find information about this period of their lives. Putting these records online provides an invaluable resource for them and their families."
The Cadet Nursing Corps not only served to meet the needs of United States military during World War II, but also promoted the profession of nursing among women.
There was a unique social aspect to the program for this period in history - the Corps was non-discriminatory and trained nurses from a wide variety of backgrounds including Native Americans, African Americans and even displaced Japanese Americans.
Unlike other professions, where women left to pursue other interests after the World War II, 85 percent of all nursing students in the U.S. were trained by the Cadet Nursing Corps.
"While much of the focus around World War II remains on what happened overseas, groups like the Cadet Nursing Corps are an important reminder of the dedication of the U.S. citizens on the home front," said Dan Jones, Vice President of Content Acquisition,Ancestry.com. "We are proud to honor those who served as a part of this distinguished group and provide new generations with the opportunity to learn more."
To access the collection, users can visit www.ancestry.com/nursing. Ancestry.com offers a free 14-day trial for all new visitors to the site.