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DATE: 1945

LENGTH: 15 min

CATEGORY: Educational & Instructional, Sound, Black & White

DIRECTOR: Unidentified

PRODUCER/PUBLISHER: Army Pictorial Service Signal Corps, U.S. War Office


Historian David Cantor looks at five films about nursing produced between the 1940s and 1970s. In the mid-20th century, American nursing leaders produced and deployed the motion picture as a modern tool of education, training, and recruitment. Hundreds of films were made, including informational, newsreel, and training movies for a variety of audiences. This title was intended for a variety of audiences—including servicemen, nurses, and potential recruits to nursing—and carries a reassuring message about the skill and effectiveness of the Army nursing service….Read the Essay

Warning: These films contain explicit images of disease and intrusive medical treatment. Viewer discretion advised.

Supplementary Materials

Stills from The Army Nurse

Other Films Featured in the Essay “Screening the Nurse: Film, Fear, and Narrative from the 1940s to the 1970s”

In the Collections of the National Library of Medicine

NLM Historical Audiovisuals Collection

A young woman in a Nursing uniform looks concerned.T.B. Nurse Wallace, 1952: A dramatization of the arrival and settling-in of a newly-minted nurse at a tuberculosis sanitarium.

Career, ca.1958: The story of three Native American women attending the U.S. Public Health Service Indian School of Practical Nursing in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Nurse Combats Disease, 1962: With the aid of drawings, this film describes the nurse’s role in the prevention of disease, with emphasis on factors that lead to disease transmission and how to interrupt that chain.

NLM Prints & Photographs Collection

A military nurse reading the newspaper to an officer.See thousands of postcards with nursing themes donated to NLM by Michael Zwerdling.

View the related online exhibition Pictures of Nursing: the Zwerdling Postcard Collection.

NLM Rare Book Collection

Tradition and Destiny of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, ca. 1949 is a detailed, illustrated, 52 page booklet about all aspects of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps.

States regularly issued guides and manuals for public health nurses, such as this Manual for Public Health Nurses, from the state of Iowa in the late 1940s.

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External Resources

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) — Est. 1986

The mission of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) is to promote and improve the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations. NINR supports and conducts clinical and basic research and research training on health and illness across the lifespan to build the scientific foundation for clinical practice, prevent disease and disability, manage and eliminate symptoms caused by illness, and improve palliative and end-of-life care.

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Posted by:Circulating Now

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