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Finding Aid for the Collection of items pertaining to the Training Camp for Nurses at Vassar College, 1918 1918-1921
**AC 8 V3 A191m Rare  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Miss Birdie May Adair graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1913 and attended the Training Camp for Nurses at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., during the summer (July 24 to September 13) of 1918. The training camp was organized under the auspices of the National Council of Defense with funding from the American Red Cross. The camp's intent was to draw female college graduates into the critically understaffed ranks of wartime nurses, and it included 430 young women from 117 different colleges. After the summer, trainees went on to regular hospital training programs throughout the country. The collection consists of: Miss Adair's certificate of completion of the training course; announcement booklet outlining camp guidelines; several contemporary photographs; and a nearly complete run (one issue lacking) of the camp newspaper, "The Thermometer", published weekly during the camp's duration and occasionally thereafter for 6 more issues.
Background
The Vassar Training Camp was organized under the auspices of the National Council of Defense, with funding from the American Red Cross "to establish and maintain a school of science applied to nursing at Vassar College during the summer of 1918." The intent was to draw female college graduates into the critically undermanned ranks of wartime nurses. Four hundred and thirty young women from 117 different colleges gathered for "a summer school for intensive theoretical training of hospital nurses..." A prestigious faculty recruited for the summer from major eastern universities gave instruction in anatomy, physiology, bacteriology, chemistry, dietetics & cookery, hygiene, practical nursing, history and social aspects of nursing, elementary materia medica, psychology, and oversaw physical training. The Camp ran from June 24 to September 13, 1918. The trainees then went on to regular hospital training programs around the country, where their time to graduation with a nursing diploma was reduced from the normal three to approximately two years.
Extent
1 box (0.5 linear ft.)
Restrictions
Publication Rights
Availability
The collection is open for research. Contact the History and Special Collections Division, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, UCLA, for information.