Julia Catherine Stimson (May 26, 1881 - September 30, 1948) is credited as one of several persons who brought nursing to the status of a profession. As superintendent of the Army Nurse Corps during World War I, Stimson became the first woman to attain the rank of Major (United States) in the United States Army. Mary T. Sarnecky, author of A History of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps (Penn Press, 1993) wrote, "Stimson actively lived a feminist ideology in several singularly oppressive and paternalistic contexts--the upper-class Victorian home, the turn-of-the-century hospital setting and the military establishment of the early 20th century." 
Thousands of women nurses enlisted in the Corps, and returned from the War as both professionals and veterans. Stimson herself was awarded the United States Distinguished Service Medal, presented by General John J. Pershing. She was also awarded the Royal Red Cross. Though she retired from the Army in 1937, Stimson returned after the outbreak of World War II as chief of the Nursing Council on National Defense, and recruited a new generation of women to serve as nurses. She was promoted to full colonel in 1948, shortly before her death. Stimson, who served as President of the American Nursing Association from 1938 to 1944, was inducted into that association's Hall of Fame in 1976.
Her papers are housed at the Weill Cornell Medical Center Archives.
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
- Stimson, Julia Catherine (1918). Finding Themselves: The Letters of an American Army Chief Nurse in a British Hospital in France. New York: Macmillan Company. http://books.google.com/?id=YDm-hx_ZiV8C.
References[edit | edit source]
- "Julia Catherine Stimson and the Mobilization of Womanhood"
- M.T. Sarnecky, Julia Catherine Stimson: nurse and feminist, 1: Image J Nurs Sch. 1993 Summer;25(2):113-9.
- General Orders No. 70, 1919, War Department, as cited by "Valor awards for Julia C. Stimson". militarytimes.com. http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=18222.
- "Nursing News and Announcements". September 1919. p. 964. http://books.google.com/books?id=BkInAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA964.
- Marion Hunt, "Julia Catherine Stimson and the Mobilization of Womanpower" Gateway Heritage, Winter 1999-2000 vol. 20, no. 3.
- - American Nurses Association
- Guide to the Julia Stimson, RN Papers
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