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January 6, 1945

THE SHORTAGE OF NURSES FOR THE ARMED FORCES

JAMA. 1945;127(1):28-29. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860010030010

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Abstract

Mr. Basil O'Connor, chairman of the American Red Cross, sent to every chapter last week an appeal for an immediate maximum Red Cross effort to secure 10,000 additional nurses needed by the armed forces. The rapidly mounting casualties in Belgium demand a maximum of medical and nursing care. Eleven army hospital units, Mr. O'Connor reported, are about to go overseas without any nurses—a condition unprecedented in the history of our country. The war is far from being ended, yet already the need for careful rationing of nursing service has been demonstrated. That need will intensify in the months to come. The patient load in army general hospitals in the United States has more than doubled in the last nine months without the necessary increase in nurses.

The Red Cross, in its messages to the public, has emphasized ways in which the public can help in saving nursing service and thus

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