Civil War Nursing History

1026 Words5 Pages
The United States Congress approved the utilization of female medical nurses in military healing centers in August 1861. This change of policy prompted thousands of women to volunteer their services to assist the sick and wounded soldiers during the Civil War between 1861 and 1865. The Civil War set the stage for resulting improvements within the history of nursing. As viewed in history, the female medical nurses of the Civil War were not a predominant type of individuals. They were average yet solid willed women who needed to have any kind of effect or change regardless of the societal guidelines which ruled over their lives. By developing into the profession of medical nurses in the Civil War, they cleared out their imprints on American history.…show more content…
However, this dramatically changed with the significant amount of wounded soldiers that were injured while battling in the Civil War. Throughout the war, the interest for nurses immediately outpaced the current supply, furnishing women with chances to volunteer outside the home. By 1865, most Americans did not consider the profession nursing to be a dominant male occupation. Many women quickly managed to develop their status value by taking on the roles of men with the high demand of nurses to provide aid and care for the wounded soldiers. Louisa May Alcott, a civil war nurse and author of Little Women, wrote in her diary, "I long to be a man, but as I can't fight, I will content myself with working for those who can.” More than over four hundred women disguised themselves as men, and fought in the Union, which was the North, and the Confederate, which was the South, armies during the Civil War. As Woodworth also writes, “While the majority of wartime nurses were male, the contributions of thousands of female nurses helped alter the image of the professional nurse and changed American nursing from a male-dominated to a largely female profession. The Civil War set the stage for subsequent developments in the history of American nursing.” (Woodworth 33) Aside from the men, this high demand of nurses now provided many women the opportunity to establish themselves in the profession of nursing in the Civil War for the first time. Although majority of the nurses serving in time the Civil War were male, most of the women proved their valuable status as capable volunteers by establishing nursing as an acceptable field or employment for women by the time the Civil War ended. The war essentially modified the advancement of the nursing occupation with the threshold of women into nursing outside the

More about Civil War Nursing History

Open Document