United States Army Nurse Corps – History, Qualification, Condition & Essential Qualities

United States Army Nurse Corps – Medical services are the backbone of every country. In history, we have seen the importance of the medical industry in the growth of a country. The quality of medical services provided a cushion and sentence of security to every citizen So that everyone could grow and contribute to the nation.

Not just in the life of a civilian, medical services are also very important in the army. Many times willingly or unwillingly, you have to participate in military conflicts in order to defend your country, and at that time, good medical services can provide great motivation to all the soldiers fighting in the field.

The United States Army nurse corps is one of the important branches of six special medical branches of officers, which Combinedly created the Army Medical Department.

Physical Qualifications For United States Army Nurse Corps

Just like any other army branch, you also need a few physical qualifications in order to qualify and become United States Army Nurse Corps. These qualifications are not something extraordinary.

  • A candidate must be physically fit and perform under mental and physical stress.
  • A candidate must have excellent eyesight.
  • A candidate must conform to two strict weight and height regulations.
  • A candidate must be able to pass the Army physical fitness test.

Academic Qualifications For United States Army Nurse Corps

Apart from the physical qualifications, you also require medical qualifications to join the United States Army nurse corps.

  • You must have a high school diploma.
  • You must have U.S. citizenship
  • you must have a high school grade point average of 2.5.
  • You must have a minimum score of 19 on your college ACT and test.
  • Alternatively, you can also score more than 920 on your SAT.
United States Army Nurse Corps
United States Army Nurse Corps

Other Conditions To Join Army Nurse Corps

Let’s take a look at all the other conditions you might require to join the army nurse corps.

First of all, you should be a U.S. citizen in order to qualify for the active duty nursing Commission. Apart from that, if you are a permanent legal U.S. citizen, you can also become an army nurse through a reserve officer training corps.

You must be between the age of 21 and 42 in order to qualify for army nursing corps positions. Apart from that, adults between the age of 43 and 60 are also eligible, but those adults must apply for a two-year service obligation.

Essential Qualities Of United States Army Nurse Corps

Now let’s take a look at a few of the essential qualities of the United States Army nurse corps.

  • An officer must possess honour, integrity and personal courage and should face any event or eventuality with a calm, determined attitude.
  • An officer must be capable of pursuing both personal excellence and mission accomplishment with dedication, commitment and determination.
  • An officer should possess highly honed leadership skills and must be able to lead, motivate, align, coordinate and manage teams and their energies.
  • An officer should be filled with a deep desire to serve their country with distinction.
  • An officer must have the strength to inspire strength in others and to stay upbeat in the face of adversity.
  • An officer must demonstrate self-discipline, initiative, confidence and a high level of intelligence.
  • Nursing Corps Officers are required to manage the needs of war-bitten soldiers, and this needs a certain toughness combined with self-discipline.
  • Working with patients requires patience, compassion and firmness, three qualities that are prized in a nurse corps officer.
  • Army nurse corps officers are judged by their decision-making ability. These officers are required to make decisions on their own and bear the ultimate moral responsibility for those decisions.
  • Nurse corps officers are expected to command and control medium size nursing units, which require management, administrative and leadership skills.
  • An Officer must have excellent interpersonal skills that’ll enable them to coordinate with their units.

History of United States Army Nurse Corps

The United States Army nurse corps became the permanent members of the medical department under the army reorganization act 1901.

It’s been more than 121 years since it has been working actively after recognition, but the army nurse corps was also active in the pre-1901 era.

Nurses have been serving in Washington’s army since the Revolutionary War. During that era, there were no recognized schools of nursing, and the women who took care of the sick and wounded during the revolutionary wars were not given the honour of nurses.

Until the War of 1812, there was no centralized medical direction by a formally organized medical department to take care of patients and sick soldiers.

The Army Medical Department was re-established by Congress under the direction of surgeon general doctor Lovell in 1818.

During the civil war in 1861, the secretary of war, Mr. Cameron, appointed Dix As a Superintendent of women nurses for the union army. During that time, a few women also received a short course in nursing under the direction of doctor Blackwell.

1901 – First World War

On the 2nd of February 1901, The United States Army nurse Co became a permanent copy of the medical department. 

Starting from 1901 to 1917 till World War One, it is called the professionalism era in United States Army nurse corps history.

Even then, nurses were not actually commissioned as officers in the regular army, and they were appointed for a three-year contract.

During the First World War, the United States military recruited more than 20,000 registered nurses for military and Navy duty in more than 50 military hospitals.

Apart from that, those nurses also helped staff 47 ambulance companies that operated on the Western Front.

United States Army Nurse Corps
United States Army Nurse Corps

Interwar – Second World War

After the First World War and before the end of the Second World War, the United States Army nurse corps gained its pride. During that time, eligibility to join the nurse scope was female, white, unmarried, and a graduate from a civilian nursing school.

Even during the pre-Second World War era, army nurse corps personnel received ranks and even wore army uniforms, but they did not receive equal pay, and they were also not part of the U.S. army.

During the Second World War, the United States Army nurse corps played a major role. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, The United States entered the war.

Army nurse corps were stationed all around the world, including China and Hong Kong. Even though most of the nurses were white and unmarried, a few handfuls of nurses were also African American.

 That was the first time when the army nurse corps allowed known white nurses to join the force. Starting from the limit of 41 non-white nurses by the end of the war, there were more than 470 non-white nurses serving in the nurse corps.

After Second World War – till now.

Soon after the First World War, the world saw another conflict of Koreans, and the United States supported South Korea in the conflict.

Most of the nurses stationed in Korea were working on the battlefield, and it changed the whole course of the United States Army nurse corps. That was the time when male nurses were also allowed in the ANC.

The ANC Has also played major roles in the Vietnam War and other military conflicts. Currently, army nurses are deployed all over the world wherever the United States has a military base, and they are also participating in humanitarian missions.


The United States Army corps is one of the important branches of the Army Medical Department. Even though it was first recognized in 1901 but army nurse corps has, one way or another, played an active part in the history of the United States.

The army nurse corps has also played an active role in the American Civil War. Since then, the army nurse corps has been playing an active role in the United States Army. In the beginning, nurses were not required to have so many qualifications as today.

American Civil War, World War One, World War Two, Vietnam War, Korean War are just a few prime examples of the notable work done by the army nurse corps.

What are the qualifications to join the United States Army nurse corps?

To join the United States Army Nurse Corp, one has to have two bachelor’s of science in nursing from accredited programs active and reserved. Apart from that, only presidents of the United States can join the army nurse corps. Apart from that, the army also takes a physical fitness test to check if the applicant is physically fit for the job or not.

Did the United States nurse corps also face racism and sexism?

Yes, even the United States nurse corps face racism and sexism. Race and sex played central roles in the United States Army nurse corps. For initial years the army nurse corps was for white women only and fought hard to execute orders to minimize the number of black women until 1947.
Even until the Korean War, male doctors and nurses were not allowed to join the United States Army nurse corps. During the war, doctors began to emphasize the need for nurses in the front lines, which turned out to be the entry of male nurses.


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